Never again will I greet the dawn without a map.
In the past, to have any goals, either large or small, seemed no more than an exercise in foolishness since I had so little faith in my abilities. Why have small and insignificant goals, I asked myself, merely to satisfy my lowly talents? What difference did it make in the scheme of things? And so, each day I would stumble out into the world, rudderless and chartless, hoping to survive until sunset, falsely assuring myself that I was only waiting for the proper moment or for my luck to change yet never believing for a single moment that anything in my future would be any different from my past.
To drift from day to day is easy. No skill is required, nor effort nor pain. On the other hand to set goals for a day or a week or a month, and to attain those objectives, is never easy. Tomorrow I will begin, I told myself day after day. I didn’t know, then, that tomorrow is only found in the calendars of fools. Blind to my foolish faults, I was wasting my life in deliberation for I know not what and I would have procrastinated until it was too late had it not been for these scrolls. There is an immeasurable distance between late and too late.

“Never again will I greet the dawn without a map.
I have been living in fool’s alley. To be always intending to make a new and better life but never to find time to set about it is as if I should put off eating and drinking and sleeping from one day to the next until I am dead. For too many years I was convinced, like so many others, that the only worthwhile goals were princely goals with rich rewards in gold and fame and power. How wrong I have been. Now I know that the wise man never makes goals of immense proportions. Those plans that are giant in size he calls dreams and cradles them close to his heart where others may not see and mock. Then he greets each morning with goals for the day only and he makes certain that all he has planned is completed before he sleeps. Soon the accomplishments of each day are gathered, one atop another, like the ant piles his grains of sand, and eventually a castle is erected large enough to house any dream. In truth, this is not difficult to accomplish once I have learned to harness my impatience and deal with life a day at a time. I can do it. I will do it.
Never again will I greet the dawn without a map.
The victory of success is half won when one gains the habit of setting goals and achieving them. Even the most tedious chore will become endurable as I parade through each day convinced that every task, no matter how menial or boring, brings me steps closer to fulfilling my dreams. What a pleasant way to get on with my life for if the morning presented me with no new joys, as I fulfill my goals for the day, or if the evening delivered me no new pleasures for completing my goals, it would not be worthwhile even to dress and undress. Life, I am now convinced, can be as joyful as children at play when one awakes with anticipation that a path clearly marked is waiting.
I know, now, where I am.
I know, also, where I want my goals to take me.

To get from here to there, I need not know all the twists and turns of my voyage at this moment. What is most important is that I have embraced the first scroll and the second and now I will never look back on that dismal past when days had no beginning or end and I was lost in a desert of futility with nothing ahead but death and failure.
Tomorrow I will have goals! And the next day! And the next!
Never again will I greet the dawn without a map.
Once I did bargain with life for a penny and life would pay no more, but my years of working for slave’s wages have ended. Now I know that whatever wage I had asked of life, life would have willingly paid.
The sun is not shining on me so that I may reflect with sadness on yesterday. The past is buried and I almost allowed myself to be buried with it. No more tears. Let the sun’s rays shine on tomorrow’s promises … and me.
Never again will I greet the dawn without a map.

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