How would you describe your life? Are you achieving what you desire? Are you accomplishing the things that are important to you? Do you consider yourself a success? How do your prospects look for the future?

If I could come to your house and spend just one day with you, I would be able to tell whether or not you will be successful. You could pick the day. If I got up with you in the morning and went through the day with you, watching you for 24 hours, I could tell in what direction your life is headed.

When I tell this to people at conferences, there’s always a strong reaction. Some people are surprised. Some get defensive because they think I would be making a snap judgment about them. A few get ticked off because they think my claim sounds arrogant. Others are intrigued and desire to know why I make such a statement.

Here is why: I believe that the secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda. If you make a few key decisions and then manage them well in your daily agenda, you will succeed. You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. You see, success, doesn’t just suddenly occur one day in someone’s life. For that matter, neither does failure. Each is a process. Every day of your life is merely preparation for the next. What you become is the result of what you do today. In other words… You are preparing for something.

The question is, What are you preparing for? Are you grooming yourself for success or failure? As my father used to tell me when I was growing up, “You can pay now, and play later, or you can play now and pay later. But either way, you are going to pay.” The idea was that you can play and take it easy and do what you want today, but if you do, your life will be harder later. However, if you work hard now, on the front end, then you will reap rewards in the future.

Think about it: What are you preparing for today? Success or failure? Does your daily agenda indicate that you make a habit of paying before you play? Answering these questions is a good predictor of what you will become tomorrow and in the future.

From Today Matters


  1. Your Daily Routine - Rex Baker's Blog on February 24, 2020 at 8:51 am

    […] success in life can be found in your daily routine. People who succeed do certain positive things every day. Conversely, people who fail do certain thin… A friend posted this graphic to Facebook recently, listing out the daily traits and attitudes of […]

  2. […] Source […]

  3. Alexander Wiredu on May 22, 2020 at 1:32 pm

    I didn’t prepare adequately for my retirement, my retirement is long overdue.l live from hand to mouth and now its worse, l can’t even take care of my wife and children but l am determined to do some things to create some kind of income generating investment to take care of my wife and kids. I need help to think through this. Be blessed stay safe and healthy

    • Mark on August 5, 2020 at 6:10 am

      You need a mentor.

  4. Building Effective Business Systems - on July 29, 2020 at 11:56 am

    […] Effective systems promote consistency. The secret to success can be found in your daily routine. You will never improve your business, or your life, until you change something you do on a daily […]

  5. Neal Luczkiewicz on January 5, 2021 at 11:05 pm

    One of the most brilliant truths stated so simply.
    Routine can overcome
    depression, even emotions of hopelessness. In the long-run it is a great STRATEGY which makes any failure only a temporary experience.

  6. […] I believe that the secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda. […]

  7. It’s Just Temporary on March 7, 2021 at 7:01 pm

    […] be hard. John Maxwell the leadership expert, coach and world-renowned speaker is quoted as saying, “You can pay now, and play later, or you can play now and pay later. But either way, you are goin… I saw that expression play out in my life when going to school to get my Masters degree and at the […]

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.