THE SEASON OF GIFT-GIVING The Gift of Today
W ith the holidays on the horizon, finding meaningful gifts for loved ones is at the forefront of people’s minds. In this season of gift-giving, it’s not only important for people to find, purchase, or make great presents for others. It’s equally necessary for people to gratefully receive the gifts they are given, one of the most important being the gift of today. American historian and author Alice Morse Earle exemplified this idea by writing, “The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it is called the present.” Taking advantage of the day in front of us is one of the most important decisions we can make, but it’s not necessarily easy to do. So often, people get stuck replaying past events over in their mind, thinking of ways they could have prepared better. Those same people might spend hours perfecting their future plans to ensure that every event or situation flows accordingly. While reflecting and planning are essential, you can’t take action in the past, and you can’t perfectly plan for the future. Waking up in the morning and making something of the day we have in front of you is our best option. Thanks to my friends at the Nevada Chapter AGC, I recently got to hear two- time Olympic gold medalist David Wise
talk about his experience in the final round of the 2018 Olympic games. His approach really seemed to demonstrate this idea of gratefully receiving the gift of today. In his presentation, Wise talked about taking his three runs down the halfpipe in an attempt to secure the gold medal. The first two times down, he lost a ski, which exponentially increased the pressure for his third and final run. Wise explained that he dealt with that pressure by remembering some real- life challenges he had overcome in the previous four years. Focusing on his ability to overcome those challenges put into perspective the fact that even though the competition was for the Olympic gold medal, realistically, it was still just a game. He
said his mindset then changed. Instead of worrying about the future and letting the pressure get to him, his mindset became one of “I wonder what is going to happen next.” He kept this mindset as he started and then progressed through his gold medal-clinching run. I am looking forward to my next opportunity to handle pressure with as much serenity as David Wise. Even though most of us aren’t dealing with the same kind of pressure that he experienced, we can follow his approach, starting with gratitude for our family and other relationships — and then springboarding to a sense of wonder, moment by moment, as we play out a new episode in our lives. I wonder what is next for you!
“THE CLOCK IS RUNNING. MAKE THE MOST OF TODAY. TIME WAITS FOR NO MAN. YESTERDAY IS HISTORY. TOMORROW IS A MYSTERY. TODAY IS A GIFT. THAT’S WHY IT IS CALLED THE PRESENT.”
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