Wednesday, September 14, 2011


“Life is a great big canvas, 
and you should throw all the paint on it you can.”
~Danny Kaye

2008-0217 (156) Lotus Flower by jenniferphoon

Do you ever take time to think about the fact that each and every morning is a brand new day – one that has never been and one that will never be again?

Too often, we just coast through life, allowing one day to fade into another. Before we realize it, days have become months and months have become years and we lament lost time. The above quote by Danny Kaye is a call to intentional living.

I once heard someone state that his memory was “painted with colors that would never fade.” This quote resonated with me because that is the kind of rich, memorable life that I seek. I want my life to be meaningful and full of colorful experiences for me and my family.

A Challenge
Below is one of my favorite pictures. I keep a copy of the picture beside my desk at work as a reminder that each day is a blank canvas waiting to be painted. What I choose to do with the blank canvas is, mostly, up to me.

Below are ten suggestions for making today count. Choose one and decide to intentionally do it today. These are very simple ideas, but as you make a choice to intentionally “throw some color on the canvas,” you will be creating memories and, more importantly, making today count.  
  • Keep a journal. 
  • Record your magic moments. (I wrote about this here – it’s worth reading) 
  • Create a magic moment for someone else today. (suggestions: buy four $5 McDonalds gift cards and hand them out, write an uplifting note to a colleague at work, let someone cut in front of you in traffic) 
  • Participate in Project 365, where you take one picture a day for a year. My wife has done this for the past two years and it provides a great record of our lives. 
  • Take 5 minutes and listen to a favorite piece of music. 
  • Take a 5-minute walk outside and really pay attention to your surroundings. 
  • Memorize scripture – start with Psalm 118:24 – “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” 
  • Set a goal - decide on something simple that you want to accomplish and commit it to paper; then, decide the date by which you will accomplish your goal. (For ideas read here, here, and here.)
  • Drive a different route to or from work - you might be surprised at what you notice.
  • Turn off the TV tonight and do something intentional. 
Remember…today really is all that we have. We can plan all day long, but we can’t live tomorrow until tomorrow. Living fully in the moment is a choice for today only.

So, get going! Throw some colorful, vivid paints on today's blank canvas! 

QUESTION: What other suggestions do you have for making TODAY count? Please leave comments below.


Chappy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jon Chapman said...

I couldn't agree more. If we don't choose what to paint, others will do it for us. My suggestion: call or visit a friend or family member you haven't spoke to in a while.

Diane Rivers said...

Passivity is thinly disguised laziness, in my opinion. When we let life happen to us, rather than being intentional about each day, it's really a way of avoiding responsibility. If we didn't choose it, it's not our fault, right? Aargh. That is far too prevalent in our society now and it makes me crazy!

One thing I am doing to live more fully each day is choosing not to make worry my default mode. That's a deeply ingrained habit that is hard for me to break and it makes for a very dark and drab "canvas".

Ben Holbrook said...

I like the 'blank' canvas idea.

Also regularly reviewing what is most important, helps me live intentinally.

For those of us who are too busy (who is'nt?) pruneing even good things from our lives is another challenge.

Rene said...

Thanks Jason. Another idea to live each day fully is to be thankful! Saying thanks to someone who did something special for you, saying thanks to someone who does the ordinary for you each day, saying thank to a parent/spouse/child for just being them or just saying thanks to God for today - the ups and down - but mostly that God was with you today!

Jason said...

Jon - I almost added that one to my list. Sometimes connecting with my family is the best way to make a day memorable.

Diane - You make some wonderful points. I agree that passivity is lazy living. If we choose to live a monotonous, "whatever happens" kind of life, then that's exactly what we'll get.

Ben - I like the idea of saying "no" to things as well. We can't do it all and, again, it's about intentionally deciding what's important.

Rene - Living thankfully might be the most intentional way to live fully. Being thankful is a choice - there is ALWAYS something to find that's not good. But, on the flip side, we ALWAYS have things to be thankful for. It's a matter of focus.