Sunday, September 11, 2011

One Day at a Time – Deal or No Deal?

Successful living is found in being present, leveraged from the dealt-with past and authentically hopeful for the future. The mechanism is famously, one day at a time. Such a mechanism is a habit—the king of all good habits.

Furthermore, one day at a time is a philosophy; one backed biblically (Matthew 6:25-34). The beauty of such an idea is it’s not limited to ‘a day’; the day is an exponential concept—it could be an instant or, equally, an entire age.

Choice – Our Friend or Nemesis

The blessings of God are never more evident than via choice. Yet, it is a Western concept that choice is our nemesis. Choice can only ever be friend when we check it in self-control.

But, isn’t it funny how we justify our poor choices?

Take diet as a good ‘for instance’. We make a good plan and then resolve to stick to it. We desire the loss of extra weight and seek to tone up. We know what we want. We start out well. Then, during a moment of temptation, we let it go by justifying a small excursion from the plan. Next thing we know we’re on a slippery slide back to where we started—all for a few minutes of ‘bliss’.

The thinking behind this is not that dissimilar—barring the excesses of morality—to having an affair. Instant gratification, with a profound price, is chosen ahead of the sustainability of the sound plan; in the case of relationships, the maintenance of love.

Why do we make such short-range choices? For the rewards we get, that’s why.

We have to decide we want different rewards—more long-term ones.

Choice – Practical Considerations

If we consider the more substantial reward, keeping it front of mind, the temptation of the transient in-our-face reward doesn’t command solitary hearing. It becomes a practical choice. Achieving our goals is a practicality of life. But, it’s not easy; habits are ingrained into the very way we think, and breaking such habits is like climbing a slippery slope.

We really need to believe that the long-term choice is the better one, and actually think it’s the best option practically.

It’s a case of Deal or No Deal. If we make a deal to adopt the one-day-at-a-time regime we stand to achieve our goals. If we don’t make a deal we put at jeopardy all our passion, effort and planning. And we waste our time.


Anyone incorporating a one-day-at-a-time approach will be effectual in breaking bad habits, and they’ll enjoy their lives to boot. They have made a deal; one practically too good to refuse. They choose the right rewards.

Taking one day at a time is power and joy for life. It makes for a convincing deal. A better one cannot be negotiated.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

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