Do You Want a Better Tomorrow? Start Here

It's surprising, but the true basics of making life better often sound too simple.  

Blog. Thoughtful woman. Coffeecup. 9.23I found that to be true back when I was a young mother trying to hold it all together.

No matter how hectic the day, I never missed one syndicated column in our daily newspaper: "The Worry Clinic," written by a Dr. George Crane.

All I knew about "Dr. Crane" was what the tiny blurb at the bottom stated, that he was a licensed, professional counselor. But I liked his column because he mostly avoided psychiatric terminology and spoke plain English. I didn't always agree with him but often I found insights and ideas I hadn't thought about.  

When I stumbled across a reprint of his column it felt like finding a lost friend

While searching for something else on Google, Dr. Crane's piece popped up. Immediately my mind flashed back to the first time I read these same words in our newspaper, then reread them. I clipped his column and taped it to a cupboard door.

After that I read it at least once a day, always asking God to help me stick with it.

One day at a time . . . Soon I noticed myself feeling more calm, more settled. More positive about my life, even though our family hubbub went on as usual.

Time hasn't changed my opinion that this wisdom still rings true

This is said to be an exact reprint of Dr. Crane's original piece, penned over a century ago. (Because of continuing requests it reappeared in his column periodically over the years. )

  JUST FOR TODAY

Here are ten resolutions to make when you awake in the morning.

They are Just for One Day. Think of them not as a life task but as a day’s work.

These things will give you pleasure. Yet they require will power. You don’t need resolutions to do what is easy.

1. Just for Today, I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle my whole life-problem at once. I can do some things for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt I had to keep them up for a lifetime.

2. Just for Today, I will be Happy. This assumes that what Abraham Lincoln said is true, that “most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Happiness is from Within; it is not a matter of Externals.

3. Just for Today, I will Adjust myself to what Is, and not try to Adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my family, my business, and my luck as they come, and fit myself to them.

4. Just for Today, I will take care of my Body. I will exercise it, care for it, and nourish it, and not abuse it nor neglect it; so that it will be a perfect machine for my will.

5. Just for Today, I will try to strengthen my mind, I will study. I will learn something useful, I will not be a mental loafer all day. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.

6. Just for Today, I will exercise my Soul. In three ways, to wit:

    (a) I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out. If anybody knows of it, it will not count.

    (b) I will do at least two things I don’t want to do, as William James suggests, just for exercise.

    (c) I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt. They may be hurt, but Today I will not show it.

7. Just for To-day, I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress as becomingly as possible,  talk low, act courteously, be liberal with flattery, criticize not one bit  nor find fault with anything, and not try to regulate nor improve anybody.

8. Just for Today, I will have a Programme. I will write down just what I expect to do every hour. I may not follow it exactly, but I’ll have it. It will save me from the two pests, Hurry and Indecision.

9. Just for Today, I will have a quiet half hour, all by myself, and relax. During this half hour, some time, I will think of God, so as to get a little more perspective to my life.

10. Just for Today, I will be Unafraid. Especially I will not be afraid to be Happy, to enjoy what is Beautiful, to love and to believe that those I love love me.

                                                       (Written by Dr. George Crane in 1921)

If I said I ever mastered this list I would be lying

It still provides a checklist of how I want to live and look at life.

I suspect I'm not the only person who feels this way. As a Christian, I recognized it echoed Psalm 118:24:

This is the day that the Lord has made;

let us rejoice and be glad in it. 

At any age, any stage of life, we start with rejoicing and deciding to be glad for the blessing of each day. If we add in Dr. Crane's principles, one by one, our tomorrows can't help being happier.

Working on it, too,

Lenore  


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