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How One Minute Can Make All the Difference

Okay. What I’m about to suggest may sound sort of heavy—until you try it. Once you do, you might find it helps you break through mental roadblocks, become even more decisive, and add a pep to your step.

The One-Minute Challenge

Take one minute at the start of each day to ponder this possibility: Today is all I have. Yes, statistically (and thankfully) you have decades of life still ahead of you. But as a doctor once told me, "Your chances of complications are slim, but if your number's up, your chances are a hundred percent."

Okey-dokey. Incidentally, by sidestepping the procedure the good doctor spoke of, my chances of complications went from "slim" to none. That was 2016—so far, so good. Trust your gut.

A Few Questions to Ponder, a Few Sample Benefits

Getting back to our morning exercise—taking one minute day to contemplate Today is all I have.

I've been at this exercise all of twelve days, and already it's having an effect. For example:
  • For the first time since June, I gave blood. Good cause, free cookies.
  • After dragging my feet on a major decision (going back to school), I finally accepted it wasn't going to work—and gently closed the door.
  • Closing that door has freed me to focus on my speaking and my forthcoming book, Thriving at Work.
And when a ten-minute commute last week on the 5 Freeway took more than ninety minutes, I mostly kept my cool. I credit that minute I spent at the start of the day with helping me stay calm, or calm-ish. (Sidenote: It helps if you have food in your car. I recommend individual bags of Trader Joe's potato chips.)

Accepting your time here is limited sets you free to make it count. Think of it this way: You have 1440 minutes in your day. One minute in contemplation can radically transform the quality of the other 1439.

You have 1440 minutes in your day. Take one minute to transform the quality of the other 1439.

Gina DeLapa

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Gina DeLapa is America's Ultimate Reminders® Coach, a sought-after speaker, and the proud creator of the Ultimate Reminders® book series. Her wise and witty reminders ("Beware the organization whose response to a burning building is to form a committee") will make you laugh, stir your soul, and inspire your best. If you're not already getting her free Monday-Morning Pep Talk, be sure to sign up now at