Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Perfect Day

Happy New Year everyone! As you've probably noticed, I haven't had much time to get back to the blog lately. My apologies. When life gets busy--- it gets REALLY busy. I'm working on a project I hope to share with everyone some time soon--- but right now I'm sworn to secrecy. ;)

It's been more than a little stressful, though... so I thought I would take a small break from the craziness to re-visit something I wrote a while ago. And I'm glad I did, because it reminded me that I need to get back on track now that we've started another year.

I have a wonderful friend and mentor named Jess who urged me to do an exercise she says really helped her create a "map" of sorts in her life.

Years ago, she wrote down her thoughts about "The Perfect Day." Starting with the moment she woke up and opened her eyes... until they closed later that night. What she wrote was extremely detailed... she talked about the kind of sheets she woke up on, the items in the room, the sounds she heard around her, what she first smelled when she woke up, etc. This detail continued as she proceeded to write about the people she would spend the day with, what they would be doing, where they would be going. All of this was in incredible detail (with one exception I explain below).

Every once in a while she would pull out her Perfect Day and re-read it--- as kind of a reminder of where she wanted to be "some day."

One day, she woke up and started her day... and it didn't really register until a few hours into it--- but at some point she realized she was LIVING her perfect day. It started with her waking up in a beautiful room on special linen sheets she had bought in Ireland (something she had included in her Perfect Day, but hadn't actually bought when she wrote it), and continued to unfold precisely as she had written it.

This might sound a bit unbelievable. But knowing the type of person Jess is I have no doubt it actually happened... because she MADE it happen. By actually detailing her Perfect Day--- and studying it every once in a while--- she had made decisions and adjustments throughout her life that eventually led up to that day becoming reality.

Lesson here: It's hard to get where you want to be when you have only a loose idea of where that place is. If you have a detailed map, you can make the right choices that will get you there more quickly.

I wrote my Perfect Day a few months ago, and it brings me joy every time I read it. Probably because among other things, it involves spending time on a tropical beach and swimming with dolphins. ;) At this point, I have no idea if I'm any closer to it--- but re-reading it makes me think of things I might be able to do to move toward it. So I urge everyone out there to try it, too.

A couple of notes... I know I said most things should be in great detail--- but you should be more general when it comes to talking about the people around you. For example, let's say you are spending the day with your best friend--- and right now your best friend is named Lucy. Well, if you start talking about Lucy in detail you'll be tempted to insert some of her idiosyncrasies into the time you are spending together, little things she might say, etc... and at that point the day is not really about YOU anymore... rather, you're making it more about you and Lucy. This particular exercise should be all about you. Trust me, this is key. After four aborted attempts to write out my Perfect Day, I finally realized that I needed to drop names and faces and just write general things about the way the person makes me feel, such as "my best friend with whom I share everything" or "someone who makes me feel safe and loved." And try not to mentally assign that role to anyone specific.

Also, keep checking in on your Perfect Day every once in a while to see if you are still on the right path. If you realize you aren't, you can make adjustments in your life.... or if your view of what's "perfect" has changed, you can edit your Day. It's okay to change your mind--- after all, this is all about what makes you happy. And making those changes on paper could encourage you make adjustments in your life as well.

Once you've written it, you should have a wonderfully long day you can read over and over again. Something that will remind you what you are working toward. And if you are as determined as Jess to not be a spectator--- but actually MAKE it happen--- maybe in two, five, ten years... you'll be living it.

And thanks, Jess... for allowing me to spread your idea. Here's to more Perfect Days in your future. ;)

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