October 28, 2022

Prepare for Tomorrow

In yoga class, when we’re all sweaty, holding a pose two breaths too long, it takes every bit of willpower and strength to continue.

Oh, the temptation of relaxing the muscles. The relief it would bring!

But then, just before I give up, Teacher Dina would say:

“Why do we do this? To prepare us for tomorrow.”

It’s a reminder that we do not practice yoga for pain and suffering. We do it to make our bodies, minds, and hearts capable of handling whatever tomorrow brings.

Accurate for yoga, and for all else we choose to do in our lives. Our choices either strengthen us, keep us where we were yesterday, or push us two steps back.

Do we get stronger, smarter, better? Or do we refuse growth?

Put another way, whatever we choose to do today is an investment. They hold future rewards (if they don't, then they're bad investments). And the currency we use is time. Time we spend, even as we sleep.

It applies to everything we do, because every action affects where we are tomorrow.

The food we eat today affects how healthy we'll be tomorrow. The books we read will determine what we know tomorrow, and maybe what our expertise will be in 10 years. And so on.

Does this mean we have to read finance books all the time and stick to beans and salads for all meals? Of course not.

We have to do things we enjoy—for our happiness, our mental health.

For example, going out for drinks with friends might seem like a bad investment, but it could be a fruitful one. You're having a good time, the food is amazing, everyone's buzzed and laughing. Maybe some people are singing or dancing or deeply engaged in intellectually-stimulating conversations.

Instead of just thinking about how bad alcohol might be for the body, the overall outcome of that evening could be good: lower stress levels, new ideas, and deeper relationships. You're happier. You're better.

We don't have to be perfect. Look for balance. Aim to be better. Just better.