Have you ever felt what just seemed like the perfect day? I remember my perfect day like it was yesterday. It happened totally by chance and was completely unexpected. It was about four years ago on my trip around the world. I was in my final stomping grounds of Paris, France when it happened. It involved coffee, friends, exploring, and a lot…. a lot of running around. Sprinkle in a little bit of silliness and BOOM! The prefect day.
Just yesterday I had another darn near perfecto come my way. And you know what, it was nothing like my day in Paris. The two were completely different. Yesterday featured no Eiffel Tower, no Louvre Museum, and well, no Paris. However, it did have some coffee, some friends, a little bit of exploring, a little bit of running around, and a dash of a personal challenge.
This got me thinking a bit. I had never really taken the time to sit down and think about what my perfect day would be like. I’m often busy with projects, family, friends, and responsibilities that keep my mind a little tied up. But after yesterday I saw just how easy it was to have the perfect day. I’ve come up with a bit of a personal challenge and a recipe if you will. And if you’re up for it, I’d love for you to participate.
The perfect day challenge
A little while back I read a book by Jack Canfield called The Success Principles. If you don’t know Jack (no pun intended) he’s the Chicken Soup For The Soul Guy. Anyhow, in his book The Success Principles I remembered him talking about planning your perfect day. However, I did not head the advice at the time and never really got around to it.
Shame on me
He recommends getting as detailed as possible when constructing your perfect day. From where you wake up, to what time, the first thing you do after waking up, and then going through each hour of your day outlining what projects your working on, who you are with, what you eat, what your wearing… so on and so forth.
Ok, the honesty part. A bit too detailed for me. Sorry Jack. I also wasn’t really interested in planning the perfect day. I was more concerned with planning a pretty damn good day that I could duplicate over, and over, and over, and…. you get the point
Pretty damn good day recipe
As I said earlier, when I look back I can specifically remember two pretty damn good days. I’m sure I’ve had more but my day in Paris and just yesterday are my reference points. I’d like you to take out a pencil (not a fan of pens, just thought I’d share) notebook, and kick-back for a minute. Try and think back to any pretty damn good days you may have had. I want you to try to find two so that you can compare them.
If you’re having a rough time thinking of two look to a recent day that was pretty damn swell. Maybe it wasn’t totally awesome but hopefully it had some bright spots. Lets just say it was much better than a day at the dentists getting cavities filled.
Alright, we’ve got those pretty damn good days or better than dentist days in your head. Here’s where it gets funskie (yup, bringing that back).
I want you to find some themes over the course of that day. For example my two days had some similarities.
1. I didn’t wake up to an alarm clock (but I got up hella-earlier, 5:30AM)
2. I enjoyed a nice cup of joe and some reading
3. Spent about an hour or two on a project I was excited about
4. Was active. Paris featured a day of walking around from museum to museum and yesterday went on an early morning run and spent a few solid hours dancing some salsa…. scratch that. Spent a few good hours trying to LEARN how to dance salsa. Everyone else was actually doing it. I was stepping on people’s feet.
5. I was in learning mode. Both days learning about new things. In Paris the culture and yesterday how to dance.
6. Digitally disconnected and no distractions. No phone, computer, or any other gadget in Paris and yesterday I left my phone at my friends.
7. Good conversation with good people. Not only friends of mine but strangers as well.
8. Much of the day was spent outdoors and with many other people around. Totally socially connected.
9. Both nights wrapped up early (I’m not much of a night owl… I know, Lame) and with a glass of Red.
10. Almost forgot. Good music started, kept up through the middle, and ended my day.
There were a few more similarities between the two but these were the most poignant.
I’d like you to do the same. Find some common themes between those two days in your noodle right now. List anything and everything between the two that seem to be similar.
But what if I have never had a pretty damn good day before?
No worries at all. Start brainstorming using Jack’s method. What would a pretty damn good day look like for you?
What time would you get up?
What would you eat for breakfast?
Who would you talk to?
Where would you be?
What places would you go to?
What would you do specifically hour to hour?
This is an opportunity for you to let loose, get creative, and have some fun. Think about things you would love to learn about or currently like doing. Look back at some times where you were in the zone or under the concept of Flow that we have talked about a little.
Now pencil to paper friend and start mapping it out.
Now the fun part
With both of these days I had no intention of having a pretty damn good day. They just sort of unfolded and happened. But it really got me thinking.
What if I actually took the time to sit and plan out a pretty damn good day (PDGD) for myself? So that is my challenge to you. Over the next four weeks I would like you to plan out a pretty damn good day for yourself and then go and actually live it.
Take a look at your schedule and write it in. Make it an appointment with yourself. And because it is an appointment with yourself it can not be broken. If someone, something, or god himself comes down and asks you to do something you’ll say no. “I’ve got a PDGD date with myself.”
If you’d like to share the themes of your PDGD with me or the world post it to the comments below or shoot me an email. I’d love to hear your thoughts or help in any way I can.
Review the PDGD and living it everyday
After you lived your PDGD simply take an hour or so to review it.
What went right?
What went wrong?
What steps, decisions, behaviors can you make next time to take it from PDGD to the perfect day.?
Most importantly pay attention to the themes again. Looking back at mine it’s pretty easy to see that those ten things very doable for me on a daily basis if I just take the time to plan and schedule them in.
Turns out living a PDGD is much easier than expected if we just take the time to figure out what a pretty damn good day means to us.
So let’s make a promise to ourselves today. To stop blaming bad days on others, situations, events, and experiences and instead take responsibility for creating pretty damn good days for ourselves on a daily basis.
I’m going to leave you with this story I read in some bonus material to The Success Principles.
A man was out walking one night and notices another gentleman down on his hands and knees under a street lamp. The passerby walks up to the man and asks the man on his hands and knees what he is looking for. The gentleman on the ground says that he has lost his keys and is looking for them. After an hour or so of unsuccessful searching the passerby stands up and says to the gentleman he was helping
“We have been looking everywhere. Are you sure that you lost your keys here?” The other man replies, “No, I lost them in my house but there is more light out here under this street lamp.”
Moral of the story. We often waste time looking for answers to questions we have outside ourselves when more often than not all of the answers we seek like with in. We just have to start asking the right questions and paying more attention.
What does a pretty damn good day look like for you?