If there were neither barriers nor obstacles from birth until death, what could one person truly do in his or her time on Earth?

Over one person’s lifespan, he could build understanding between countries, generating bonds among millions. Should he choose the healing arts, one soul could cure millions on multiple continents, elevating especially the elderly and the young. One man, or one woman, could raise populations from poverty, or tutor multiple generations to read, enlarging possibilities well beyond his days. In one lifecycle, great inventions will be created, political movements will be forged, wars might be averted, and peace could take root. One person, one lifetime, with so much possibility…

Yet, what if there was but one decade? In ten short years, what could one person do?

In that period, a parent can raise a child from healthy adolescent to well-adjusted, successful adult; or guide her from a “spark in her daddy’s eye” to a happy buoyant, bouncy, smiling, joyful young girl. In 3,600 days, one being can decide what matters, embark on an educational voyage, advance to premier heights, become recognized for accomplishments, and utilize those skills to develop her life — and those of all she touches. She could construct miraculous vaccines, produce rousing movies, pen prodigious literature, or travel the globe and advance deeper understanding of vastly unalike cultures. Should one person choose, even without education, he could opt to support the unfortunate, instruct the uneducated, or comfort the afflicted. In the next ten rotations about our Sun, history could — and most probably will — be affected by one person many times over.

Should you only have one year, what might be altered?

Between now and this date next time, you could reconnect with far-flung family with whom you have lost touch, bringing back a sense of closeness too easily forgotten. In 365 days, you could learn to play an instrument, acquire a language, donate regularly to a cause, or enhance your relationships. In one brief year, you could help mend your neighborhood, volunteer at a school, understand another culture, read great novels, plant a garden, or lose that extra weight and become more fit. One year, a blink of an eye, is loaded with potential. One person, one year, with so much possibility…

In one month, how could things change?

Before you turn the calendar, you could choose what matters most and devote time each day in its pursuit. Should you fancy, you could learn yoga, kick-boxing, watercolor painting, or cooking. In that time, you could go berry picking, finish painting the house, read several novels, make a movie on your computer, enroll for classes, get caught up on your filing, pay some bills, clean the “junk drawer,” donate 30 hours to the homeless, learn CPR, stack wood, plan the best vacation ever, take daily walks; and still have time left over to hold your wife and call your kids (or vice versa). There is so much that can be done in four short weeks.

In one day, what could be changed?

Before tomorrow rises in the east, you could sit in the sun, call a friend, take a walk, write your congressperson, start a journal, go to the library, wish well every stranger you see, stop putting off a doctor’s appointment, give a few bucks to the guy with the cardboard sign (realizing it could have been you), or leave a happy-face note for your wife.

If you only had “right now,” what would you do?

One person, one moment, with so much possibility…

Author's Bio: 

Scott “Q” Marcus is a professional speaker and the CRP of www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com, a website for people and organizations who are frustrated with making promises and are ready to make a change. Sign up for his free newsletter at the site or friend him at facebook.com/thistimeimeanit. He is also available for coaching and speaking engagements at 707.442.6243 or scottq@scottqmarcus.com.