Remember that first day at your new job?
You spoke to friends and family the night before; you were brimming with excitement. You could hardly sleep, and when the morning alarm rang, you jumped out of bed with enthusiasm. It felt like a sunny day, even though the clouds were out, and you practically skipped into the building when you arrived early. The day was filled with optimism, possibility and curiosity.
Then Day Two arrived with just a little less eagerness. The commute was a pain, you noticed the bad coffee in the break room, and that guy down the hall never stopped talking about the game.
Day Three was a tad worse. And by Day 30, you slid into a funk. What was once magical now felt mundane. What once seemed like a fresh beginning transformed into just another gig.
Unfortunately, this same decay applies to new projects, hobbies, educational pursuits, locations, relationships, exercise regimens and even community volunteering. The exuberance of our first day can gradually fade into a dim light of apathy.
But it doesn’t have to.
Leadership development expert Drew Dudley tells a great story of his trip into the jungles of Africa. His guide for this dangerous adventure proudly told the petrified Drew that it was his first day. Now Drew was all about helping out the new guy, but wasn’t quite sure he wanted to be the test case for an inexperienced guide.
Seeing Drew’s concern, the guide smiled widely and went on to explain that he always wanted to be a guide. He loved the work, and when he showed up on his first day, he was overwhelmed with excitement and dedication. That was 15 years ago, and the guide proudly stated that it has been his first day ever since. He makes every day his first day, filled with enthusiasm and commitment. Rather than settling into a rut, he makes every day count by being fully engaged and appreciative.
Now that’s the guide we all want — whether it’s trekking through the jungle or as our Realtor, yoga instructor, oncologist or mortgage banker.
You get to choose the impact that time has on your life. You can let the days whittle down your energy and passion, or you can use each day to fortify your resolve. If you approach every day as Day One, you’ll remain open-minded and ready to perform at your best. Don’t settle for the gradual slide of deterioration that lures so many of us to become walking zombies. You’re not here to go through the motions; you’re here to make a gigantic impact.
To truly deliver on your calling, make every day your first.