April 03, 2009

The No Rainy Days List

Today I am introducing the new No Rainy Days List. It is a list for anyone who agrees with the idea that life can’t wait for a rainy day — that it has to happen today. As a short way of saying this, I like to say that there are “no rainy days.” The following excerpt from the very beginning of Fear of Nothing explains more about what this means.

There are no rainy days anymore.

In an earlier age, a rainy day actually meant something. “Rainy day” was almost synonymous with bad news — you could till, plant, and tend your fields in fair weather, but rain would interrupt your plans and send you indoors.

As a farmer in the agricultural age, you needed to be out in the fields. You could not afford to waste a sunny day. If there was work that could be done indoors, you would set it aside and save it for a rainy day. When the rainy day arrived, you would have something constructive to do. The rain might keep you away from your most important work, but you could still make good use of your time. You might sharpen tools and patch the holes in your boots. When you were done, you would sit and wait for the rainy day to end.

This way of relating to the weather was a universal experience at one time, but now, just a few generations later, it is a scenario that most of us have never experienced. A thousand innovations arrived — railroads, telephones, shopping malls — that took away the significance of rain. Rainfall might dampen our spirits, but it can’t wash away our to-do lists. For most of the things we want to do, rainy weather makes no difference at all.

In the information age there are no rainy days to fill, yet we manage our lives as if there were. We still save things to do on the next rainy day. There are old cars to fix, thank-you notes to write, tax forms to fill out, flowers to plant, baby clothes to try to give away — not today, but “someday.”

What is someday? It is not a day on the calendar. It is certainly not today — today there is not a moment to spare! It could not be tomorrow either, or the next day, or any day next week. No ordinary day will make the time available for us to do any of the things we have saved up. Still we insist that we must do all these things someday. Someday must be quite an extraordinary day. Of course, someday is a myth. You could wait for the rest of your life and someday would never come. Someday is the rainy day of another age. Once, people waited for a rainy day to end. Now it is the opposite: people are waiting for a rainy day to come. Then they will finally do the things they have been saving. But of course, the rainy day never arrives. There are no rainy days anymore.

You give yourself most of the power of present-moment action just by deciding to take it — deciding that instead of giving yourself more things to do on a rainy day, or someday, you are focusing mainly on what you can do today. And when you state a decision like that to the world, you gain some of the world’s energy. This is extra energy you can put to use in the things you are doing. I created the No Rainy Days list as a way for you to declare this specific intention:

I'm not going to wait for a rainy day. I'm going to take action today on the things that my life is about.

You can add your name to the No Rainy Days list by signing the online “petition” at:


Or, if you prefer, click the comments link below to add a comment to this post. In your comment, if you wish, say something about why taking action today is important to you.

Of course, it also works to say something like this out loud. You can say, “I’m not going to wait for a rainy day. I’m going to ____________ right now,” filling in the blank with whatever is the most important thing for you to do right now.

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