Here's the parable of my life. "A stressed out executive goes to a Zen Master and says "what can I do to relax?" The Master replies "Walk for 20 minutes each day." The executive thinks for a moment and replies "how far will I be in a year?"
The story is not intended to be funny. Quite the opposite. I am that executive. I don't seem to be able to do something unless I view it as a small part of something larger. I don't workout unless I'm training for a Grand Canyon hike. I don't study Spanish unless I'm planning to work in Mexico.
That would be fine except when I don't work out or study, I feel like my future is collapsing. Conversely, when I eventually realized that I would never be fluent in Japanese, I felt like the five years that I spent studying it was wasted.
The Zen Master parable is meaningful to me because the executive's follow-up question is absurd. Since the goal is to relax daily, the distance I walk in a year is meaningless. In fact, it's less than meaningless...it's a distraction. The annual goal defeats the entire purpose of the exercise. The unit of time is not a year, it is a day. The answer is Zen the Day.
That's not a new thought, but it is a new realization. This journal will record my effort to put that realization into practice.