Toasting to Success

July 16, 2018

I kid you not – there was once a time when a toaster was my symbol of success.

It sounds ridiculous now but you might be surprised to find yourself relating to this.

Just a few years ago, I sat at the bridal shower of a close family member and sat in awe as she opened generous gifts to fill her home. As we watched her open her gifts, I could only see the distance between where I was and where I wanted to be. She opened beautiful salad bowls, luxurious towels, expensive pots and pans, and… a toaster.

“I don’t even have a toaster!” I muttered under my breath. My mom, sitting next to me, giggled to herself and gave me a loving look. At that time, I was living in a beautiful condo with another young woman who was much farther in her evolution into womanhood than I was. At the time, I was making a shift into living by myself for the first time in my life and felt overwhelmed by the sheer number of things I didn’t have. In my perspective, a toaster was the most basic of the kitchen supplies I didn’t have. The distance between where I was and where I wanted to be felt like a massive weight and looked like a shiny toaster. All I wanted was to make two pieces of toast – I didn’t need anything fancy! 

It’s the same perspective many of us have taken when looking at our dreams.  The distance seems great and the effort needed to get there feels backbreaking. Whether the goal is writing a book, getting the job, running the race, baking the perfect pastry, rebuilding a home, earning the degree, saving the money, losing the weight, building the muscle, starting the business….

The list goes on and on and on. Rather than looking at what can happen TODAY our eyes only look toward a long list of things that need to happen and our mind spirals into the “how is THAT ever going to happen..” question. Instead of starting at A and looking at A.5, we jump from A to M to Z. The alphabet doesn’t line up like that. Step 7 will never come before step 3. Where you are today is a direct result of the choices you made yesterday. Tomorrow is still dependent upon today. Your future you is still being shaped by the person you are today. There’s no way of getting around that. It’s that simple.

We tend to overcomplicate things when we try to find solutions to problems that don’t even exist yet. I will be the first to say I’m horrible at doing this! I frequently find myself living in the future, trying to anticipate solutions to problems that haven’t (and usually don’t) happened. All we have is today. When it comes to working toward our dreams and living life in general, our strength lies in our ability to make moves today.

I know how easy it is to get caught up in the to-do list of all the things that need happen. It feels a little bit like a reflex at this point in my life. But, I’ve learned to roll it back. Instead of looking at the overwhelming list of tasks I’ve created that make me want to crawl in my bed and take a nap because I’m already tired, I choose to ask myself “what needs to happen TODAY?”

Today, I’m fully capable of taking one more step to get where I want to be. Today, I can look back at the years that have passed and notice the many things that have happened since I so desperately wanted that toaster. Today, I can look back at the 3 years that I’ve lived on my own and the number of renting problems I’ve solved by myself. Today, I feel so proud of how far I’ve come and, because of who I am, trust that I will make the decisions that will bring beautiful people and things into my life.  Tomorrow, I can get up and take one more step toward my goal… and make myself some toast in my toaster.

What’s your symbol of the next “impossible” step? What can you do TODAY that will bring you even the smallest step closer to where you want to be? All you have is today… so get to it.

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