Chapter 52

Now's The Time

Today's Empowering Quote

"Whatever you want to do, do it now. There are only so many tomorrows."
-Michael Landon

Today's Empowering Question

"What would happen if I put that off until later?"

Today's Fast Session

My parents were recently up north visiting from their home in Florida.

On their last night here, they stayed at my uncle's camp.  So I drove an hour and a half into the mountains to see them one more time before they left.

Just as I was pulling into the little "one horse town" of Sherburne, I noticed that I was getting very low on gas, but I told myself that I'd be able to get some gas on the way back home.

Well, it was nearly 7 o'clock when I arrived, and we were having such a good time, that it was 1:30 in the morning before we knew it.

When I started the vehicle, the gauge was reading even lower than it did when I pulled in.  I felt lucky that the camp was higher in elevation than the town, so I did a lot of coasting in neutral.  Boy, was I happy to see the traffic light in town.  A quick right and I'd be filling up...

But the gas station was closed.

Oh no.

I was running on fumes, and nothing was open - not even a bar!

Four miles to Earlville!? Uh. I'll never make it.

But with no choice, it was north to Earlville... at forty miles an hour to conserve gas. Man, it seemed all uphill! Where were the downhill areas?

Finally, mercifully I made it to Earlville... only to find that their gas station was closed, too.

I was sunk. What to do? What to do?

I was remembering the time twenty two years ago, when I used my mom's car and didn't put any gas in it before coming home.  She ripped me a new one as she told me how she coasted into the gas station after the engine died.  I'm not going to be so lucky this time.

Keep going north...

Oh, if I get out of this, I'll never let it get below a quarter tank again. I swear.

Twelve minutes and seven a-g-o-n-i-z-i-n-g miles later, I see Colgate University.  Oh, thank God.  There is no way that the gas station will be closed, not in a college town like Hamilton. Now if I can just make it to the gas station.

There it is!!

And the lights are on. Hooray!! Yippee!!

Oh. Thank you, God in Heaven.  And yes, I coasted in, in neutral, just to make sure I made it all the way.

During the rest of the trip home, I felt lucky to have been given this lesson.  Partly because I didn't lose anything in the process of learning... many lessons involve lots of pain.  And mostly because it was a lesson that will most certainly serve me well in the weeks, months and years to come.

You don't put off things that should be done now.

I should have assumed that the mini-market would close. I didn't need to put it off. And I should have paid attention to the clock.

As I was praying for an open gas station, I was "shoulding" all over myself, and the good part was, I was listening.

It was my fault.

And the lesson was learned... again.

And in taking complete responsibility instead of cursing the store, I will have once again set a course in be paying attention to situations where my decisions affect outcomes.

No, you can't always plan for everything. And no, nobody's perfect.

But you can be intelligent. Stupidity is no excuse.  Ignorance is definitely not bliss.  It's loss.  Pain.  Possibly death.

Michael Landon was best known for his starring roles in Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie, and Highway to Heaven.  He lived hard, worked hard, partied hard and put off eating healthy.

I'll never forget his final appearance with Johnny Carson's Tonight Show in 1991.  He said that he had pancreatic cancer.  For people not in the know, this is one of the most deadly cancers.  Most people don't survive longer than a few months after diagnosis.

His wife had been pushing him to adopt a more vegetarian lifestyle for years.  But he just put it off.  There was always time to start eating right... right?

Not long before his Tonight Show appearance, in constant agony, facing death, he finally gave into her pressure.  And he told Johnny that the pain from the cancer was out of this world. Simply terrible.

But, he said, from the day he started exclusively drinking the vegetable juices his wife prepared for him, the pain stopped completely. Just like that. So understandably, he was in good spirits on the show.

Unfortunately, it was too late.

The cancer had progressed too far - his body was too toxic for the pure, cleansing food to save him.

So the message today is this, whatever is pressing, whatever job has to be done or situation needs to be attended to, do it now.

Sounds simple right?

Well, it is.

Pull out your copy of First Things First - get your planner out - look at what is important in your life... and attend to it.

And you'll find that when you finally start paying attention to the big things, the important stuff, the important people, you'll feel... well, it's hard to put into words.

At worst it reduces the frequency of angry fights with others over your "forgetting" things. People WILL notice the difference in you.

And at best, you'll be setting in motion a habit that could transport you to the top of your profession.  It can make you admired and respected by everyone you know.  It can give you a peace of mind that few enjoy.

Ask constantly, "What COULD happen if I put this off?"

Join the few. It's not lonely there.

Today's Winning Beliefs

-- I'm a "Do it now" person
-- I love being busy
-- I get the difficult tasks out of the way first
-- I do things that are good for me
-- I stay away from things that could hurt me
-- "Do it now" is my motto

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