Today is a perfect day.
Is it because I’m at a beach resort? Nope, today is a typical day at home.
Is it because it’s beautiful outside? Nope, it’s humid and overcast.
Is it because I received some good news? Nope, nothing notable happened today.
Is it because I won the lottery? Nope, no financial windfall today.
So, why is today so perfect? Because I am able to spend time in the areas of my life that bring about a sense of mission, human connection, and personal growth. Let’s explore.
Time with my wife
Lauren and I usually wake up at the same time each morning. On a typical day, we wake up early, but not crazy early. Regardless of our wake up time, before we start the day, we spend time together. We chat over coffee, read the news, and share the things we’re excited about for the upcoming day. This time each morning sets the tone for the day and allows us to prioritize our marriage over everything else.
For a day to be complete, I must move my body. I need to get my heart rate up, get a sweat going, and get lost in movement. Sometimes this means a 7-mile run. Other times it means a 30-minute walk. And it’s almost always outdoors. Sunny, cloudy, rainy, windy, snowy, hot, cold, it doesn’t matter. I love being in the elements and out in nature. While I hope for perfect weather (50-70 degrees and sunny), some of my most exciting and most memorable runs are when it’s in the 30s and raining. Regardless of the weather, my daily exercise is happening outside.
After my workout, I spend at least 10 minutes in quiet time. I turn off my phone and just sit in silence. Doing so allows me to clear my mind, observe my thoughts, and connect to the present moment.
Creative time and sharing my creativity with the world
My creative time usually involves writing or working on marketing materials for the business. This part of my day allows me to use a different side of my brain and embrace the challenge of creating something from nothing. Also, creative time forces me to sit with discomfort. Why? Because, for me, there is nothing more intimidating than a blank page. But when I see my thoughts become paragraphs, and paragraphs turn into full articles, and full articles get shared with the world, I feel an amazing sense of pride and accomplishment.
Moving my business forward
I spend a lot of time on my business. A typical day could include onboarding a new client, researching the stock market, creating a social media ad, catching up with existing clients, speaking with prospective clients, or exploring new ways to add value to my current clients. I love what I do and I appreciate the challenge of growing a business and the intellectual stimulation that the investment industry provides. Also, I am fortunate to have some amazing clients - it’s not uncommon that my clients become my friends.
Learning and trying something new
In the last week, I’ve watched documentary films on Bruce Lee, the Los Angeles music scene in the 1960s, and the sport of cycling. In addition, I took an online course about advertising tools and strategies for Facebook and LinkedIn, and I did my first Facebook Live session. I love learning and trying new things, and I make it a priority to learn or try something new every day. Sometimes this involves reading a book or watching a documentary film. Other times, it’s watching a 15-minute YouTube video or listening to a podcast during my morning run. Time constraints don’t stop me from learning.
Connecting with family and friends
Today I connected with a former colleague and mentor of mine, and I made it a point to reach out to someone that I previously mentored. If I’ve learned one thing from this time in quarantine, it’s the importance of relationships and I’ve made it a point each day to reach out and connect with the important people in my life. This includes, family, friends from school, former colleagues, etc. The mode of connection could include an hour-long phone call or Zoom session or just a quick email, text message, or DM. Anything to stay connected.
I’m not ashamed to say that I need a minimum of 7-9 hours of sleep every night. This is non-negotiable. If I get into a creative flow state at 9pm and work until midnight, my alarm is set for 8am. To be in a perfect day, I must be well rested.
Making everyday a “perfect day”
Time with wife, exercise, creative time, intellectual stimulation, embracing the challenge of running a business, learning, connecting with family and friends, sleep - my perfect day has nothing to do with perfection or external events. Instead, it’s just a way of life. My perfect day doesn’t require a lot of money, it doesn’t need a major accomplishment, and it’s not free from stress, doubt, or anxiety. For a day to be perfect, I just need to work on my mission, connect with the people who are important to me, and devote time to personal growth.
What are the components that make up your perfect day? Is today a perfect day for you? If not, what’s stopping you?