Seize the Day: Embracing a Fresh Start Every Day

Illustration depicting a sunrise symbolizing a fresh start and the concept of seizing the day.

Although it is impossible to change the past, each new day presents the opportunity for a fresh beginning.

A. Carl Bard

Birthdays. You do realize that they are meant to be happy occasions, don’t you?

One day a year, we celebrate our incredible beginning and look back on how far we’ve come.

The place of departure

I’ve had a full and eventful life and celebrated many joyous birthdays.

This year’s turning 50 was not one of them. See below for details.

Every year we get another year older, which is a cause for celebration while we’re young. To put it simply, we get our feet under ourselves. After that, we acquire speech. The next step is learning our ABCs in school.

It’s all brand new.

They tell us we have our entire lives ahead of us when we graduate from high school. Going out to school, traveling, or starting a new job is the beginning of a whole new chapter in our lives. Independence.

Just where to begin.

The road seems to go on forever in front of you, and the future is just beyond the horizon, waiting to be explored. Your whole future exists beyond this point.

When I was in my twenties, I was a carefree young guy on tour with famous musicians. That can’t be that horrible, can it?

The best part of life was turning 30. I was earning my livelihood as a musician in the recording studios of sunny Southern California. The way of life was fantastic.

The age of forty was already fantastic. After getting married and relocating back to New York, I started playing in my own band. Together, our lives had barely started. After that, we had kids. It was I who got the job of father.

Just where to begin.

But 50?

You should have finished your most important project by now, right? completed your key objectives. affected global change.

But suppose you’re still processing that information. What if you are just now beginning the process of determining your life’s true calling?

Turning fifty is an occasion to celebrate in many ways, but it’s impossible to honestly claim that the rest of your life is ahead of you.

You’ve seen many of life’s cards at this time. You don’t know everything, but you know a lot about how the world works. If there are any remaining shocks, they will likely involve adjusting your perspective.

However, something else occurred that was very hard to avoid. I didn’t want to acknowledge it, but I was always assessing how I measured up to others.

I have two small children and the stark realization that I’ll be close to 70 by the time my youngest is done with school, while this other individual has children starting college.

While they’re purchasing their second Ferrari after retiring at age 50, I don’t see retirement in my future any time soon.

In this mode of thinking, there will always be someone who seems to be better than you. And there’s no way you can catch up to them. So now you feel like you’ve fallen behind in an unwinnable race.

And if you play the game of always measuring yourself against others, you’ll never feel satisfied. Ever.

You unconsciously construct an index by which you may evaluate yourself relative to others. The Success-Happiness curve, for short. But the instant you set yourself on that curve, you’re already fighting an uphill struggle.

You think that once you reach that (monetary amount, professional level, or make or model of car), you will have arrived and be happy.

You won’t, however. Because nobody has seen it yet.

Not in the sense of acquiring a bunch of stuff. Once you have it in your possession, its value will quickly depreciate. After that, you’ll need to find something else to use as a replacement and get yourself fixed again. And the loop continues forever.

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The question then becomes how to end this downward spiral.

First, I had to learn to abandon many of my expectations for where my life would be when I turned 50.

Meditation was where I finally uncovered the solution.

Meditation teaches you to live in the here and now.

Most of us never learn to appreciate the present because we are always thinking about the past and the future, both of which have already passed and cannot be changed.

Comparing oneself to others, I realized via meditation, is the source of all human sorrow, or samsara. Because it forces us to put distance between ourselves and another person. Having two sides. Them and us.

Now that I had a different viewpoint, I could evaluate the successes and failures of my past actions and future plans. This made me confront a rather unpleasant truth.

I like to think of myself as a kind person, but I just realized that I’ve spent the majority of my career looking out for number one.

Indeed, I devoted a great deal of time to the creation of music that is deeply introspective and that is offered to the world in the hope that it will strike a chord with listeners and evoke some sort of emotional response.

Giving, it seems, comes with strings attached.

It was like, “Listen to this song and back my ambition. Please support me by voting for me in this contest and by purchasing that CD. The emphasis was completely off.

Then I understood what had been bothering me for so long. The desire to really connect with an audience and help them out was the driving force. Based on putting yourself in their shoes.

compassion.

So, at the ripe old age of fifty, I finally see the light.

I didn’t realize I was a storyteller all along until I let my inner writer out of hiding.

It was then that I realized everyone had a special tale to share. That’s why all of us are here. My job is to facilitate others’ narratives.

The realization came when I realized how long I had been helping musicians fulfill their goals as a music producer and composer.

There was a sudden shift in the atmosphere. I put the ship back on the right track. This seems like the beginning of a whole new book.

Just where to begin.

Now I can see how far behind I really am in comparison to that very successful individual that I admire and want to emulate.

We assume they’ve just recently landed in their current location.

All those years they toiled tirelessly in obscurity were hidden from us. Attempting something new and finding that it falls short In search of the same answers we’re after right now.

Until they perfected their technique and received widespread recognition for their efforts,

We seldom reward ourselves for making progress just by being on the road. It might lead to new insights. It might lead somewhere in particular. On the other hand, it may constitute a departure from our customs.

But you’ve started down the road. You should definitely rejoice about it.

Regardless of how long it takes or how slowly you go, if you keep walking every day in the direction of your goal, you will eventually get there.

There is a custom among the Tibetan people. No matter how tough the road, towards the end of it, people always want to look back and see how far they’ve come.

Your age does not matter. A journey begins at its beginning, wherever that may be. Whatever it is you’re trying to catch, take it easy for a while.

Recognize that race does not exist.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re 20, 50, or 80 years old; if you keep exploring, you’ll always be surprised by what you uncover.

Every day may be your birthday if every point is a beginning.

Just how are you going to enjoy today?

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