Many people live their lives like there are 8 days in a week: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Someday. How many of us say “Oh I need to do that, but I’ll do it some other day. I’m definitely going to do it, but just not right now.”? I’m guilty of it too… and I’m going to share a story about why it just doesn’t work.
There’s something to be said for being a stand for something bigger than oneself and I had a gym teacher in middle school who exemplified this. I went to middle school in Methuen and had the same gym teacher from 5-8th grade. His name is William Blood. I was a good athlete and he knew it. In addition, he knew that I was a good student and overall, a good kid… and he really respected that. He’d always make it known that he felt that way too.
One day, I was out at recess in 5th grade and a much larger 6th grader was picking on me. Mr. Blood saw the whole thing happen and he pulled me aside. He asked me what was happening and I told him. And then he said, “Eric, even though he’s bigger than you, I’d put my money on you in a fight. But you’re better than that. He’s going nowhere and you have a great future ahead of you. You don’t need to fight… just ignore his crap and don’t stoop to his level.” Although that was now 22 years ago, I still remember that moment vividly. So why am I telling you this?
Well, just this past year I started thinking about how much of a positive effect Mr. Blood had on my life and I wanted to share that with him (I think it’s important to acknowledge people, especially those who have made a difference in my life). And I said to myself, “I’ll do that someday soon.” Well, I got a call in December from a friend, and she told me that Mr. Blood had died of a heart attack the night before. And my first thought was, “oh my god… he’s never going to know how much he meant to me”… and he won’t, because I said I’d tell him someday.
If there’s one thing I’d like you to take away from this story, it’s this: Don’t put off until someday all the things you know you should do today. Life is short enough, and circumstances can easily derail us from our true intentions at any moment. You can start making the difference you want to make in the world right now… And that difference can be as complex as starting a nonprofit to save the world, or as simple as telling someone in your life how much they mean to you. Don’t let the “illusion of someday” prevent you from creating something special today.