Are you on the path towards your perfect day?
Do you even know what your perfect day would look like?
I have an exercise that can help.
What I want you to think about is a working day that would make you feel fulfilled, happy and enable you to feel that you were contributing your gifts to the world.
There is no ‘right answer’ to this.
For it to work, you need to think as specific as possible.
Where you would wake up
It really can be anywhere, including a desert island or a teeming metropolis.
What you would have for breakfast
Plus who you would share it with
Who you would meet that day
As famous or inspiring as you like
How you would make a difference
How big a difference is entirely up to you. You could spend all day helping one person make a breakthrough in their life or business. Or, you could give a speech to 50,000 people and have millions more watch you on TV.
How you would split your time in your day
How would you build in time for leisure and spending time with people you care about? How about exercise? Would you stay in one destination or travel between several?
To put my money where my mouth is, here’s mine:
I would wake up on the outskirts of a major city, with enough nature around me that I felt rested. I would have breakfast with my wife- which would definitely include a cortado coffee and a bowl of acai.
I would meet up with a hero of mine, the chef and traveler Anthony Bourdain. As well as just enjoying his company and eating some amazing food with him, I would pick his brains about how he manages to be so fearless and authentic in everything he does. These are qualities I would like to cultivate in myself and I am sure that he would be able to teach me a lot.
I would make a difference in three ways. I would work 1-1 with a client who I would help discover how they could make an even bigger contribution to the world. The client would be someone who really inspired me and who was already doing amazing things- but with my help they could be even better. I would spend some time working on a new book in order to get my ideas into the hands of more people. Finally, I would do one thing that reached out to a wider audience, such as a speech to a large group of people or appearing on a panel on a TV show.
In terms of splitting my time I would try to set things up so that I could keep relatively fit while on the go. For example I would have a standing desk as sitting (especially sitting with bad posture as I currently do) is bad for your health. I would also build walking meetings into my day as they would be a simple way of getting extra exercise, plus I have found that walking and talking stimulates conversation. I would have a swim, maybe before breakfast as it is my favourite form of exercise and, as it was an important part of my childhood, I feel it keeps me rooted. I would make sure that I had time in my day for people I care about, chiefly my wife- and I would make sure that I was fully present in those moments, with no distractions. I would move between a variety of destinations in my day but I would try to group my activities to the maximum benefit. For example, if I had a meeting in one part of town I would try to have a few minutes to sit in a beautiful park and read a book; pop into an art gallery nearby or visit a favourite coffee shop. Lastly, but very importantly, I would want to have a piece of my day in which I gave back beyond my business. This might be supporting a nonprofit organisation or mentoring someone in the early stages of their career.
So, that’s mine, but please don’t use mine as too much of a guide for three reasons:
- As I said before, there are no ‘right answers’
- Mine will change over time as I learn and grow. So will yours
- I don’t know your gift, your passion or how you would like to share it. That is locked up within you
Part 2 is taking your ideal day in part 1 and thinking of a small step or series of small steps that you can take to bring you closer to your goal.
So, using my example above, I could take this small step:
Many of the things I want are achievable right now. Sure, I can’t have lunch with Anthony Bourdain just by snapping my fingers (more’s the pity)- but I can already have walking meetings, I already have 1-1 clients and I am already trying to spread my ideas- including, through this very article. How can I get better at those things and make them a more constant part of my working day?
What are the things that will bring you that little bit closer to your perfect day?