The Power of Today

A mindset shift for your week

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Now, onto Issue 59.

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The Power of Today

D.J. Shipley was a Navy SEAL for 17 years.

His career included time with DEVGRU, or more famously known as Seal Team Six

He’s now an entrepreneur and co-founder of GBRS Group, a veteran-owned training and services company.

I recently came across a YouTube clip of him, and I’ve been thinking about it for weeks.

Specifically, this question:

→ If tomorrow never comes, how far would you go today?

Here’s an extended quote from the clip for more context:

“If tomorrow was not a guarantee, how far would you push? If you thought that today was your last opportunity to ever do the thing, how far would you go?

“If you're a football player in college, and this is going to be the last game you're ever going to play, how far would you go? How fast would you run? How much would you sacrifice knowing you're never going to lace it up again? 

“Not living with regret is the point of the message. If I'm being honest, man, I live with some regret … It's regret on how much I didn't do. 

“Knowing I had 100% and I went 89%. I've gone 100% a couple times when I absolutely had to. But if you think about a workout, a sprint, or whatever … did you really go 100? 

“Did you really lock in your mindset and say if this was for everything …  like, my kids’ lives are on the line if I do not run at absolute 100% … how far would I dig in? How far would I go?

“What is 100%? A lot of people never touch it. They never understand their full capability. They've never connected mind and body and [asked], what is 100? What is absolutely everything? 

“I did it for a long time. I'd save it for tomorrow. I'd save it for the next time. I'm gonna save a little in the tank…

“What if you never have an opportunity to use anything in that tank ever again? What if today is the last time you're ever going to do it?”

D.J. Shipley

Okay, let’s discuss this for a minute.

Two Important Lessons

There are two key lessons here.

The first is about respect. The second is about effort.

1. Respect Today

Most of us don’t truly respect today (myself included).

We know this by how much we think and talk about the future.

  • “Next month I’m going to …”

  • “Next year we’re planning …”

  • “When we hit this goal …”

That’s us living in the uncontrollable. In the meantime, what we control is right now.

It’s easy to roll our eyes at sayings like, “Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.” They’re empty cliches … until they’re not.

2. Give Today’s 100%

There's an important nuance in the idea of “giving 100%.”

It’s not possible to give “100%” all the time. Biology (and psychology) prevents us from doing so, because we’d die if we did.

But that shouldn’t stop us from asking: “What’s the maximum effort I can give today?”

Think of it as “Today’s 100%.”

  • Mentally

  • Physically

  • Spiritually

  • Emotionally

  • Relationally 

The total output in each bucket will probably look different day to day, but the percentage output should be the same.

Today’s 100%.

Closing Thought

Here’s a clarifying question you can use at the end of each today to self-assess:

“Am I satisfied with what I gave today?”

  • If yes, assess why and repeat it tomorrow

  • If no, assess why and improve it tomorrow

We can argue if we ever truly give Today’s 100% – there’s probably always something more we can give – but I don’t find that helpful.

What’s helpful is being mindful of your daily effort, and holding yourself accountable to maximizing it (in all areas of life). 

After all, we never know how many opportunities remain.

If tomorrow never comes, how far would you go today?

I’d love to hear from you

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See you next Sunday.