Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.
By now, we’ve all come across the all-too-familiar expression that has been attributed to everyone from The Family Circus cartoonist Bil Keane to Kung Fu Panda giant tortoise Master Oogway. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift… that’s why we call it the “present.” It’s been said so many times that it’s almost lost its meaning.
But on some level, I think we all (should) recognize that it is fundamentally true. How many times have you caught yourself brooding over past mistakes, obsessing over what you should have done or said? How many times have you caught yourself staring out the window, daydreaming about the possibilities of a brighter future? How many times have you focused on what could be rather than what is?
Born Edward Israel Itzkowitz, Eddie Cantor was a big-time entertainer. He wrote, he sang, he danced, he acted. You might know him from his top-rated radio shows or from his stage performances or maybe from TV. Did you know that he’s also responsible for writing the iconic Merrie Melodies theme song?
And for such a multi-talented person who seemed like he had his hands in almost everything, he stayed remarkably well-grounded. Eddie Cantor helped to develop the March of Dimes, for example, among his extensive humanitarian work. Through all of this, he was still able to “slow down” and “enjoy life.”
So many of us — and I’m just as guilty of this as anyone else — approach life as if it were a race. We go about life rushing to the finish line, because we think that is the goal or objective. Then, we move the goal posts. And then we move them again. You see, the point isn’t to “get there.” The point is that life is a song and we have to remember to sing and dance along the way.
We must remember to focus on the here and now, and not the there and later. This way, when you do get there, wherever there is, you can not only say why you’ve arrived where you have but also that you enjoyed the ride along the way. Just make sure you’ve got a good soundtrack for the journey.