Matthew Dicks is a best-selling novelist, nationally recognized storyteller, and the author of Someday is Today as well as nine other books. He’s also an award-winning elementary school teacher. He teaches storytelling and communication at universities, corporate workshops, organizations, and within communities. He’s won multiple Moth GrandSLAM story competitions and, together with his wife, created the organization Speak Up to help others share their stories.
After talks, Matthew would always get people asking him how he does everything that he does. Invariably, he doesn’t have time to answer that question to the level of detail it deserves—how he constructed his life to get everything that he wants to accomplish done while also being the kind of person he wants to be in all areas of life. Rather than answering that question during a talk, he decided to answer it in a book, Someday is Today.
When people make decisions, they are either only thinking of the moment they are in and not future ramifications, or, even worse, not consciously making a decision at all. And this results in people not ultimately achieving the dreams and results they desire. Matthew’s theory, when making decisions, is not to rely on what he wants to do in that moment, but on what his future self would have wanted him to have done.
If you’re looking to make “someday” today, here are some tips Matthew has for making the most of the time you have. First, don’t assume you need large chunks of time to achieve your goals. You can write a book one sentence at a time, you don’t need an hour of time sitting at Starbucks. And second, take a look at your sleep habits. It’s important to get enough sleep, but how much of your sleep is actually sleep? Does it take you an hour to wind down and fall asleep? Do you hit snooze or stay in bed for 30 minutes after you wake up? Dialing in your sleep habits and getting good, restful sleep will help you feel better throughout the day and rescue so much unused time.
The Biggest Helping: Today’s Most Important Takeaway
“People need to afford themselves the right to think about themselves. I think we spend an enormous amount of time in our lives thinking about our spouses and partners and children and colleagues and customers and parents and neighbors. Most of us really spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about other people and we almost never think of ourselves. Thinking of yourself in terms of, sit down on the couch and ask yourself: ‘Who am I? How did I end up here? Where am I going? How am I feeling? What is the thing that I want to say to people tomorrow?’ I don’t think we do that very often. And so I’m always telling people, spend ten minutes every single day, tell your children to go outside, tell your partner to go sit in the car, tell your cats to be gone, and just sit down and ask yourself ‘Who am I and what am I doing and where do I want to go and what do I want to say next to someone I love?’ I think that when we do that we find stories that we don’t know we have, stories that have been hiding, and we start to see patterns in our lives that we didn’t know existed, we can take credit for things that we’ve been ignoring, we can see problems that we have that perhaps we haven’t noticed, all of those things. I think if we all spent a little more time being a little more self-centered, frankly, just a little bit, like in a positive way, think we would lead better lives and I think we would head in directions that make us happier.”
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