This is it

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Today’s not a warm-up.

It’s not a dress-rehearsal.

There is no second act.


What you do with it.

Where you take it.

Who you bring.


These things matter.

No do-overs. No tomorrows.

No gimmes or get-backs.


No single moment holds more power.

Nor potential than this.

To bless or fail.


This, too, shall not pass.

Nor yearning manifest.

Until you own it all.


Rise up.


This is it.

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56 responses

56 responses to “This is it”

  1. Kathy says:

    Brilliant …

    As the saying goes .. “Carpe the heck out of this diem”

  2. Wow! Didn’t know you were a poet Jonathan. Beautiful craftsmanship here.

    This moment you talk about is something we all need to work at and aime to get closer to. Everyday.

    The point of no return, where one decision engages us fully.

    It’s often difficult to distinguish real action from the myriad of activities we indulge in everyday.

    I believe it comes down to one thing: the potential for failure.

    We can’t fail at updating a Facebook status, or reading blogs, that’s not a place where failure shows it’s scary face.

    So yes to action, to staring down at the very true possibility of failure and still taking action.

  3. Shirley says:

    This poem urges me to live my own personal mission, chosen in 2004. “To prepare for the moment of my death, one good day at a time.” All my work since then has been directed by this mission. Today is going to be a very good day! Thank you, Jonathan. (I enjoyed meeting you briefly in NYC and always enjoy your posts).

  4. That’s a good starting thought for me on this day on this week in particular. Thanks!

  5. Dana Todd says:

    Nice kickstart to a Monday!

    I’ll add a note to myself: “Get. Off. Your. Ass.”

  6. Kevin Riedel says:

    Well said, Jonathan. We all need to be reminded of the reality that we only get one spin on this rock. Gotta make the best of it!

  7. beth says:

    Absolutely correct! live fully in the NOW moment…Thank you for the reminder! Starting today I will be able to work full time on my art through the summer!
    beth, artist

  8. Shannon says:

    This Too Is It

    Today is warm already.  
    I’ve come outside even before dressing
    To check the progress of things without me:
    The zinnias opening in visible time (if I am slow enough to see),
    The tomatoes neck in neck with their virus,
    The ants executing their strategy of emergence,
    The vole the cat found decomposing into sweetness.
    Everything is already happening.

    No second holds a single thing.
    Even I am leaky, a foggy notion of a separate existence
    Burning off in the light of the evidence
    I read in an airport magazine: the human body carries 
    Four pounds of bacteria, its DNA outnumbering “our own,”
    Itself a riff: 99% chimp, grandmother’s eyes, father’s temper.

    Today is an invented measure.  To have and to hold,
    To own and seize, what could this possibly even mean
    When it’s my grandfather’s hands who reach
    For the bolting cilantro, this sprig that is not me
    Until I eat it, then me, then not me again
    After the morning movement?

    This too is it: just matter and energy, 
    this exchange our only currency.

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Love it! Thanks for building on the idea with your thoughtful words.

  9. Estuardo says:

    I read your website every single day and I really like it.
    Read this kind of poem makes me feel inspired and focus my mind on important things.

    (The English language is a little complicated to me)

    Thanks and please continue doing this wonderful job.


    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Thanks, Estuardo! And your English is great, plus it’s intent that really matters anyway.

  10. SandraR says:

    Great way to start the week off Thanks Jonathan . First e-mail that I opened today and thankful that I did. 🙂

  11. Lois says:

    No pressure (!)
    All good thoughts. I enjoyed reading but felt my usual panic when I read a post such as this one with the theme ‘carpe diem’ (seize the day);that panic stems from the feeling that I allow most days to slip by without using my time to it’s full potential.
    Very poetic, good for you, at least I was inspired enough to actually comment!

  12. JoAnn Jordan says:

    Powerful poem, Johathan. Each day, each moment of life is a gift. Remembering to laugh and love as well as work is so important in living life.

  13. YG WareNinja says:

    Inspiring for action!
    On the other hand, timing of this post is magically perfect 😉
    NOW is the right time..!

  14. Carla says:

    What a timely and needful message TO ME today; thank you, thank you, thank you more than you’ll ever know….

  15. Steve says:

    That will be hanging on my wall.

  16. Thanks for the powerful reminder – makes me want to skip out on work early and go play hide and seek with my kid!

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Just make sure you nap first, that kid is a good hide and seeker! lol

  17. I was just sitting outside on my porch swing, listening to the lawn mower from my neighbor’s yard and watching the birds play in the sprinkler thinking about ALL of this. I sit down to my computer and this is the first thing that I click my mouse on.
    There is only ONE mind and we are all connected, no matter how far and wide we are.
    Thanks J.

  18. Natalie says:

    A battle cry!
    A rallying of the warriors!
    Love it 🙂

  19. Jonathan, I just love it when you talk short,sweet and to the point. . .Thank you!!

  20. Perfect message!

    I try to live this philosophy every day, but today is my birthday, and saw this lovely poem first thing, which reminded me that it’s a huge blessing to get to have a birthday — waking up happy and healthy and alive.

    And that’s it’s important to treat every day like the blessing it is, and to live every moment of it to your best, fullest and highest potential. Yes, indeed! : )

  21. Greg wise says:

    You can connect us with simple thoughts… Simple word… But complex thinking…. In a simple state of mind. Thank YOU!

  22. Lynn Hess says:

    I need to hear this message every single day of my life, or — as much as I think I won’t — I forget. Today was the perfect day for your version. Thank you, Jonathan.

  23. If you want your wish to come true, you must state it and gather whatever you have to work with, even if it is only mice, lizards and a pumpkin.

    Do it now. Great journeys start with this first step.

  24. misha says:

    Yeah it would be great if I could move my arms or legs.
    I feel like sleeping beauty. Every part of me is going to sleep. How will I wake up?

  25. Tom Hagerty says:

    Stand up.
    Be counted.
    Fear nothing.

  26. […] This is it from Jonathan Fields. This is it, that is all. Amen. […]

  27. Love it — but can you please fix the wayward apostrophe?

  28. Fantastic work, Jonathan! I had to let you know that when I read this piece this morning, it really meant a lot to me. I needed a bit of a push, and this definitely did the trick! It’s always good to have a reminder that NOW is the only time we have. …and we’d damn well better use it properly!

    Beautifully written. Thank you!

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Hey Marty – So glad it resonated. I guess even mad genius illustrator need a little nudge every now and again. 😉

  29. Al Smith says:

    Absolutely marvelous, Jonathan. Love it. Thanks.


  30. Anastasia says:

    YES. Our time is now. And lest we might think that things are simply too bad (in our own lives, in the world around us) to even get started, as another wise person named John Robb wrote this week: today we’re facing “endless opportunity for improvement despite universal decay”. That IS the cycle of life.

  31. rpg says:

    It is Yin and Yang for me Jonathan, I read this from Leo Babauta on Friday: I was thinking about it in the context of my golf game which gets progressively worse the harder I try. Now I will think about your essay for the next few days. Thanks for the thought provoking poem!

  32. Ree says:

    How do u get over the time lost and the anxiety of what you have yet to do to fulfill and reach lofty goals?

  33. Mindie Kniss says:

    Love this. It’s now posted in my work space.
    Thanks for the reminder + inspiration!

  34. Carolyn says:

    Well….. I’m starting a mobile business teaching yoga; finished a small business course recently; but feeling overwhelmed by all the business! I just want to become a more educated and enlightened Yogini, and just teach! I’ve been getting as anxious as I used to when working in the office job I left.
    Today my Mac laptop and briefcase full of business stuff were stolen from my car. I’m devastated. I’m also mindful that no one is hurt and these are Things. I don’t want to minimize it …. But also can’t help feeling it’s a wake-up sign, not a setback. Thanks for your words Jonathan; they helped a difficult day Your book has been great and luckily didn’t get stolen from the same car.

  35. ashley says:

    to be truly present.

  36. This is it, indeed. Inspiring vignette Jonathan, thank you.

  37. Midwesterner says:

    Your column always makes me think. A portion of this one just struck me as wrong: “No do-overs. No tomorrows. No gimmes or get-backs.”

    We need not live in fear or inaction because each day is a one-off. You can always try again a different way (a do-over), having learned from a first..second..third… failed attempt. And you can get-back — it may take immense added effort or humble apologies, but as long as you’re alive there’s nothing that can’t be unwound.

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Point is – you cannot re-do “the moment.” You can only attempt to redo the action. And it’s the moments that are life’s debit card.

  38. Hustle Month says:

    […] Jonathan Fields recently posted this brilliant poem. […]

  39. Stephen Lahey says:

    Enjoyed your poem and it’s valuable message, Jonathan. Here’s a little haiku reply:

    Life is commitment.
    Uncertainty hesitates.
    Act and embrace life.

  40. Marsha says:

    Thank you for this! Am turning 40 very soon and was just thinking about all the things I’ve been planning on doing for a while now and wondering when exactly I was going to do them; what exactly I was waiting for. Am printing this out to remind myself every day to get moving.

  41. julia says:

    A mantra for every moment of every day.

  42. […] Dump regret. When you finally realize what you want out of life, and discover it isn’t what you’ve been working so hard for, you may feel like you wasted time. From experience, I can tell you that without that time, you wouldn’t be able to fully appreciate and commit to your new direction in life. Don’t waste another second feeling bad about debt, stuff, and decisions that you made last year, or last week. Live in the right now because this is it. […]

  43. […] and still explaining what it’s about. A leading blogger can call his blog post “this is it” but you […]

  44. […] Today is it.  Nuff said.  Thanks Jonathan […]