It seems like no time since I was looking forward to the summer. The holiday in Singapore was months away, Pedal for Scotland was a spot in the distance and ohhh yes I was gonna get so much done.

In the past I think I’d now be sitting here saying “Christ, it’s almost November, what have I achieved?!” but these days things are different. Yes I could’ve done more but I’m more focussed on being happy than being productive (even though the two are inextricably linked), on getting the balance right between the stuff I want to do and the stuff I have to do, and generally I find myself calmer, more rational and more aware.

The darker nights bring a different focus, of course, and now is the time to be exploring new hobbies, creating new routines into which I can add a few more notches of self-improvement to my belt.

But there is no rush, no hurry. Not today.

I’ve given out this piece of advice a few times in the past few years, and I realise it’s something I’m more and more keen to make sure is part of my day. It can take mere seconds, but without it the world can seem a horrid and dark place.

So, today, stop and appreciate a moment of beauty. Whether it’s watching the raindrops race down a window, the elegant swoop of a gull on the breeze, or admiring the hazy moon at night there is so much more to life than the constant strive for everything now, faster, better, more.

Step outside all of that for a second, breath deeply and be content in the moment. Today is only today for a short while.