Every so often life gets a bit hectic and crazy. When this happens, one thing I like to do is to slow down and think about my perfect day. This is not a perfect day in the sense that I can do whatever or be wherever I want. It’s nice to picture myself on a beach somewhere drinking coronas or skiing down the slopes of Whistler, but what is of more benefit to me is to visualize (and even better write out) the perfect day that I can experience right here, right now (as Fatboy Slim would say).
This exercise is based on a simple, but very powerful belief: it is possible for each of us can live happy, consciousness, and meaningful lives each and every day. Everything in our life may not be “perfect” – perhaps we are lonely, want more money, desperately need a holiday, dream of a better body or are bored with our work – but I believe with a shift in our mindset we can start enjoying the present, while still working towards the future we desire.
If you are a little unsure of what I mean, stay with me as below I have included an my own “perfect day”. Obviously it is very unique for me, but you may find it gives you some ideas or inspires you to map out your own perfect day. You will probably notice the very simple pleasures I have. And perhaps that is the very key to enjoying life each and every day: finding pleasure in the little things we do.
Here is my perfect day:
Wake early. I’m sure many people’s idea of a perfect day is to sleep in, but for me I normally (but not always) enjoy waking at 5am with the goal of carpe diem . If you are even just the tiniest bit curious about waking earlier, have a read of my popular article Mind Over Mattress: How to Wake Earlier When All You Want to Do Is Sleep.
Have some time for myself. Some things I enjoy doing include drinking a nice cup of coffee, reviewing my personal mission statement, reading, and meditating.
Learn. I have a 45 minute drive to work and back each day. I would obviously prefer a shorter commute, but I still try to enjoy the time by feeding my mind with interesting audiobooks and podcasts (I tune my ipod into my car stereo). My favorite place to find audiobooks is audible.com.
Write. I think everyone should find a way to be creative each day. Writing for this blog and PickTheBrain is how I get my creative juices flowing. It’s a great feeling to hit the “publish” button and know that I am sharing my work with the world.
Connect with people. I think in many ways it is our relationships with people that give us the most happiness in life. Perhaps, then, the best way to enjoy our work more is not to get a raise or a promotion, but rather to build rewarding relationships with our customers and co-workers.
Enjoy nature. One thing I like to do each day is appreciate the beauty and complex simplicity of nature. I am lucky to have an excellent park close to my work which I can visit during my lunch hour. On other days, I simply take a moment to stand in awe of the mountains that rise up to the north of Vancouver.
Laugh. E. E. Cummings once said “the most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” How very true. I try to be never be too busy to laugh, or too serious to smile.
Commit to excellence. Some of us love the work we do. Others, like me, are still trying to work out exactly what type of work best suits us. Despite this, I believe everyone should take pride in the work they do, whether it is shining shoes or working on multi-million dollar deals. Even if your good work isn’t acknowledged by others, you can still have the internal satisfaction that comes with a job well done.
Family time. I’m normally pretty tired when I walk through the door after work. However, my son is such a happy little fella and he instantly energizes me with his smile (see pic). If the weather is fine, I love to go for a short walk around the neighbourhood with Kathryn and Xavier.
A nice evening meal. While my skinny body may indicate otherwise, I love to eat and dinner is my favorite meal of the day. But it’s not just the eating that I enjoy. I usually find the whole cooking process enjoyable. After sitting at a desk most of the day, it is great to get into a natural rhythm moving around the kitchen.
Look after my health. I normally try to do something in the evening for my health and fitness. If I have an hour or more available, I love to go to a yoga class or lift weights at the gym. If time is short, I may just go for a quick run.
Relax. At least half an hour before going to bed I try to start winding down for the day. I may read some fiction (currently I’m reading the excellent Pillars of the Earth), review my day, meditate, give Kathryn a massage or simply reflect on what I am grateful for.
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In the spirit of enjoying each and every day, I would love to hear from you what simple pleasures you have that brighten your day:)
Photo by Caitlin H