The First Day of the Rest of Your Life

Remember that old saying from the sixties, its the first day of the rest of your life? Numbers_text_texture_225115_l

Oh, right, I forgot, you're not old enough.  Trust me on this, it was a popular saying.  And its been ringing in my head ever since I read a blog post (and I'm sorry, I can't even identify where) about how the past is, well, past.  It's over, finito, done. 

Except in our heads, where it is still alive and well and torturing us. 

With thoughts like:

  • What makes you think you'll get your novel published now, when you haven't managed to yet?
  • Why on earth would  you think you will make more money this year than last?
  • You've never been successful before, why do you think you can be now?

And so on.  Our devious little minds egos bedevil us with these thoughts based on important prior history.  Or, more to the point, what our egos think is important prior history.  And we believe them.  When really what they are reacting to is the time Kenny Wayne Chowder hit us in kindergarten.  Or Delia Dalton told us we were dumb when we were playing together when we were three.  

C'mon, is that really what you want to have driving you?  Are those incidents really indicators of your potential?  Stop for a minute and ponder.  What would you be like if today were the first day of the rest of your life? What if the past truly were past and no longer affected you?

Its a pretty big concept to wrap the brain around.  But here are a few things that leap to my mind:

  • I wouldn't be afraid of failure
  • I wouldn't be afraid of success
  • I wouldn't ever say "I can't"
  • I'd treasure every moment
  • I'd take total and complete responsibility
  • I'd expect miracles
  • I'd attack my writing like a hungry bear

There's more.  Oh, there's so much more on this topic, I'm certain, but I've got to let it simmer for a bit.  So you tell me–how would thinking this way affect you?

Speaking of firsts, here's an awesome one.  My friend Lora Cain is going to be a guest announcer on Wheel of Fortune next week.  She'll be the first ever female game show announcer.  Hard to believe, huh?  Listen in and support her.  Then write in and tell them how great she is (details on her site).

Photo by mai05, from Everystockphoto.

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7 Comments on "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life"

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Ledger D'Main
Guest
Ledger D'Main
01/07/2011 18:18

So Ms Hungry Bear, how many chapters of honey goodness did you spread on the loaf of empty pages today?

Jane Rutherford
Guest
01/08/2011 02:58

I always felt that resolutions were about getting your head in the game, making plans, staying possitive. Because maybe you didn’t manage to publish that book yet, but this year is going to go differently. Yes, those resolutions are usually followed by no action (or doing things the same way they were done previously), but some people, sometimes, change how they go about things and the result is one published book more that year.

Amd while I can’t listen in to the Wheel of Fortune (wrong continent), I’ll keep my fingers crossed for her.

Charlotte Dixon
Guest
01/08/2011 08:46

Ledger, Page count of personal writing is 6. But I also wrote a workshop, does that count? I’m actually really on track with writing because I’ve gone back to using a prompt a day. Not sure what I have yet, but it sure is good to be writing.

Jane,that is a great way to look at things, thanks. I think the staying positive part is so important, and that’s what not focusing on the past allows me to do. Thanks for dropping by.

Sharon
Guest
01/09/2011 22:00
Hmm, I like this post. It reeks of optimism and hope. If today were the first day of the rest of my life and the past no longer mattered, I would lose the fear. I would no longer be afraid of judgement. I think that’s the biggest fear that holds me back. I’m too afraid of what others think of me. It’s why I never tried my hardest at anything as a kid. “Underachiever and proud of it, man” was my mantra. It’s also why I’m not doing so many things that I should be doing now. Without the fear,… Read more »
Charlotte Dixon
Guest
01/10/2011 10:08

Hey Sharon, I hear you on that–I did the same thing growing up. It was easier to fade into the group than stand out and achieve, and face the judgment that went along with that. Thanks for dropping by!

Lora Cain
Guest
04/01/2011 09:59
Thank you Miss Charlotte for the post and I am writing away also thanks to you on my blog. It’s so easy to give into techno fear and intimidation (my own) and to use it as an excuse not to write. I have no more excuses! I also discovered that doing a personal essay show here in LA every month has forced me to come up with what I hope is a great 10 minute story on a regular basis – and yes, I blogged about that too! Keep encouraging us – we writers with a million excuses not to… Read more »
Charlotte Dixon
Guest
04/01/2011 10:17

Thanks, Lora! You are always doing a million wonderful creative things so don’t sell yourself short! I love that you are hosting the WordSalad series, I’ll have to time my next visit to LA so I can come see one.

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