You know, I’m not bragging, but I’ve always been a person that got heaps of stuff done. When the whole “Getting Things Done” idea came out, I had already been putting that in practice for decades. Once I left the Air Force and it was sink or swim in New York City while my wife traveled the world and modeled for magazines, I realized the world is a killer that already had a boot up my ass. I didn’t have mother to rely on. I didn’t have the Air Force and their housing allowance, free health care, meal card, and steady check to rely on. I knew if I didn’t start busting my hump, my hump would run dry and I’d be either homeless or sucking it up and begging someone for a place to stay.
I didn’t ever want to be put in the position where I’m begging someone for something. I’ve done that one time, and guess what? Help was not forthcoming. It’s such a very sad state to be in. You don’t want to ever go there.
I grew up on the poor side of middle income. My father gave my mother $300 per month to help support the three of us kids, and he gave the rest to his new family which eventually consisted of a new wife and three more new kids. My mother worked as a piece-welder for a huge metal furniture company in Pittsburgh called, “Haskells.” Mom worked her ass off because she too knew, though she had a mom that was still alive and some sisters and a brother, nobody was going to help her out. She needed to do whatever was necessary and pull out a “WIN.” Well, that’s exactly what she did. She raised us all the best she could, and eventually got a job at the US Post Office and more than doubled (or maybe even tripled) her salary.
While we never wanted for food, there was plenty of stuff we wanted and just never had. I found a newspaper route as soon as I could carry 30-50 pounds of papers in a bag on my shoulder. I walked up and down the hills of the neighborhood every day and made some extra cash so I could have some savings and spending money. I paid for most of my new Raleigh mountain bike when I was fourteen. I paid for a lot of my clothes and fast food with my friends. I still never felt like I had enough money, so when the choice came to attend Penn State where I was accepted into their engineering program, or go to the Air Force and make guaranteed money – I chose the Air Force.
This isn’t really a post about my life, I’ll stop here. I just wanted to give you some background about me to show you how my attitude came about.
The attitude I’m talking about is this belief I have, this mantra I have that,
THERE IS NO TOMORROW.
When I wake up in the morning before my wife and daughter at 6:15 a.m. every day, I say that phrase to myself first thing. There is no tomorrow. And in my mind, there isn’t. I have this burning desire to get things done that sets me on fire each morning. It has always been this way, and I’m happy to have it. I won’t say I’m grateful for it, I wouldn’t know who to be grateful to. I’m very happy I have this attitude, this belief that forced me to learn and do as much as I could to get ahead over my forty-eight years of life.
I repeat the phrase throughout the day as I face problems, tests, frustrations. It’s up on my wall behind my computer. It is on my phone display every time I turn it on.
There really is no tomorrow because all that matters is today. All that matters is how much I can fit into the few hours of daylight and night time that I’m awake. I always feel like there isn’t enough time in the day for me to complete all the things I want to get done. The things I NEED to get done. There is such an urgency inside, and it’s burning me up on a daily basis. As I write this it is 11:47 p.m. on a Thursday. I’m very aware that I don’t write well after about 8:00 p.m., and yet I feel like I’m doing OK here in this article because I had an extra coffee tonight about two hours ago. I don’t like more than one coffee a day, and rarely indulge, but today I felt the urgency of producing heaps of content for this site so I can crank it up to the high level I know it can attain.
If you say you can do it tomorrow, that’s a cop-out. It’s an excuse that allows you to relax a little bit today. I don’t want any excuses, so I don’t ever say that. I won’t admit to myself tonight that I will need to finish this article tomorrow. I’ll just go until I’m exhausted and my words don’t make sense. Already I’m having trouble typing capital i’s. I had to go back and try to type the same “I” about seven times. I’m slipping, but, who knows, I may even finish this. If I do, I’ll quickly move on to something else I had planned for today.
I’m living in Southern Thailand. The beauty of this place is on par with the Hawaiian Islands where I lived for just over six years. This province is the Hawaii of Southeast Asia. It’s horribly beautiful. There are a hundred fun things to do outside every day, and yet most times I am inside hammering something out at this keyboard so my family can eat after I pass on. I’m constantly in a race against death in my mind. I haven’t provided well enough for my family yet. I’m an idiot if I don’t do so. We have enough coming in now that they could live happily for a couple years, but what about when those book royalties fade away? What then? What is going to provide for them then? Something better, they’re my BLOOD!
Every day is a struggle – not just to exist – but to excel. To do all that I can do and to be all that I can possibly be. There is no time now, I’m forty-eight. I’m into the second half of my life. Probably well into it.
I might have another ten years where my fingers work well enough to type eighty words per minute. I might have another fifteen years of mental health and memory left. I might have another two weeks before prostate cancer tears me apart, for all I know. One thing I do know, is that today I’m busting my ass and pushing myself as hard as I can to accomplish something good for my family, and people I have never met in my life. Like you. You’re probably someone I don’t know.
Though I don’t know you, I give a shit about you. I don’t know where it comes from… this kinship with strangers, this fanatical need to help, but since I’ve had a decent life so far and taken care of a lot of my own problems, I now have the time and energy to help myself AND you. I think that’s one of our duties as human beings. I’ve always seen it that way. I had uncles that took me trout fishing and hunting, and aunts, neighbors and friends of the family that took me and my brother and sister to places we’d have never got to see with my mom.
People cared about us, and helped us because they could. Some people help others and don’t even help themselves. Why? It feels good. It feels great to help other people.
Though I strongly recommend you take care of your own pile of junk in your life that is holding you back from your ultimate bliss, I don’t think there is anything wrong with people that help others in spite of their own unfulfilled lives. Helping others helps to fulfill us. It gives us meaning. It gives us a feeling that we are worth something. We matter. We are important to someone else, even if the other person doesn’t realize it or admit it.
Maybe there is nothing more important than meaning something to at least one other person on earth.
I believe that.
So I’ll wind this down. Think about “There is no tomorrow,” and how it makes you feel. Does it light a fire under your ass? Does it eliminate excuses and force you to look at what you could best be focusing on today?
I hope it helps at least some of you pull it together and puts you in a frame of mind that fills you with motivation to do more than you usually do on a typical day.
If you feel like you have a lot of junk in your life that you can’t seem to straighten out, I may have a solution for you in the pages of this website. I may have a solution for you in the pages of my 200+ page book, The Ultimate Life. I may have a solution for a question that you haven’t asked anyone yet. You can ask me. I’ll respond and give it my best shot. Fill me in with as much background as you can, and fire away. I will let you know what I think.
Best of life and luck to you my friend!