Have you ever asked yourself what your ideal day looks like? Well, if you think a little bit harder, it definitely isn’t lying around all day and doing nothing, which may come to your mind at first. Those days are definitely good for taking a rest, but they don’t really fulfil you and make you feel alive.
On the other hand, your average day may seem very far from your ideal day. But after writing down what my ideal day looks like, I’ve realized that the gap between my average and my ideal day isn’t that big. If you want to turn almost every average day into a perfect day, it just takes a little bit more effort and quite a different view on everyday life.
As I frequently mention, the clearer the picture you have of what you want in life and the more you stay flexible about how it will manifest, the easier it is to strategize, think and fight for what you want. The clearer the picture you have about what you want, the bigger the probability that you will really get it. That’s why knowing what your ideal day looks like so important.
Elements of your perfect day
We’re all different, but we all have a common purpose for why we’re here on this planet. There are generally three main reasons:
- to grow – personal improvement,
- to contribute – creating value and
- to enjoy life – deep connections with people and nature;
alongside having basic survival, physiological and safety needs. How we achieve that and in which areas is completely up to every one of us. But if you want to feel happy, you have to see how you progress in life, you need to belong to groups of people, you need to create, and you need to enjoy life.
Now we can easily connect the purpose of life every one of us has with how your ideal day should look like. If you pursue personal development on all levels (physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual), and also pursue contribution and enjoyment in everyday life, you will feel happy and fulfilled. If your basic survival, physiological and safety needs are met, and you have a positive outlook on life, you may just have a smile on your face every day. In the end, cognitive distortions are the only thing that can prevent you from that, if you follow these basic rules. But now let’s look at every element of a perfect day in a little bit more detail.
To feel good, you have to see and feel the progress you’re making in life. You must improve yourself on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level. There are many ways and directions for how you can improve yourself and grow, and you have to find your personal mission that will enable you that growth. For one person, that may be meditation and isolation, for someone else, it’s becoming the best and coolest social animal on the planet. You must know what personal growth means to you.
The more you grow and the more your comfort zone expands, the more complex and demanding are the challenges you want to face. You move forward, you improve, you level up your skills. There is a simple rule in life: Either you move forward or you go backwards. And going forward feels much better. Growing, improving, having a positive outlook and having a plan for what to fight for brings feelings of fulfilment and excitement in life. Thus your everyday should consist of different things that enable you to grow and evolve.
In the long term, you should become the best version of yourself.
Here’s my list of what I want to experience each and every day in order to grow, improve and evolve:
- I want to face a set of problems/challenges that enable me to grow and evolve (big or small)
- Outside challenges: New unexpected problems that come from the environment every day
- Challenges I set for myself: Disciplining my mind, emotions, achievements in sport etc.
- I like to (healthily) compete in something every day
- I want to read, watch or listen to something eye-opening every day. I want to experience many different outlooks, angles and situations in life (being poor, rich, socialist, capitalist, vegan etc.). I want to look at life somehow differently and better every day..
- I want to meet or talk with someone I can learn something new from. I want to spend at least 30% of my socializing with people who are better at something than me.
- I want to reflect on my thoughts and actions and get feedback from the environment on a daily basis.
Contribution to personal life
To be happy and fulfilled, you need to have deep and loving relationships in your life. If you want to have deep relationships, you have to first build your capacity for love. Then you must invest and contribute to the relationships as much as possible and expect that your needs will be met as well (it’s a two-way street). You definitely need strong and close connections with your spouse, your kids and your friends and (if possible and you are lucky enough) with your primary family.
Having deep and loving connections doesn’t just happen by itself. You need to fight and work hard for it. Superior communication and gentle energies are the key to everything in relationships. A lack of communication leads to misunderstandings in expectations as well as to arguing and insecurity. The absence of gentle energies leads to hurting others as well as yourself in every relationship. Contributing to relationships means investing your time, energy, heart, creativity and other resources; and if there’s mutual contribution and respect, it’s the best feeling in the world.
That kind of an approach doesn’t mean that there are no fights and disappointments in the relationship. It simply means that you’re prepared to work hard for relationships, enjoy the path and every moment, but are still aware that nothing lasts forever. As there are highs, so there are lows in life. But love and contribution go hand in hand. You don’t need a lifetime guarantee for anything in life: experiencing love, deep connections and mutual contribution in a specific moment is enough all by itself. That means living in the moment.
Here’s my list of what I want to contribute and experience in my personal life every day:
- I want to have a caring and loving partner and make her feel really good and special every day. I want to invest myself fully into the relationship. More practically, that means that I want to make love, have deep talks and face common challenges for a relationship to grow. As much as I want to face challenges to grow in my personal life, I also want my relationship to face challenges that enable me and my spouse to grow and build even deeper connections. That kind of an approach must be mutual, of course. I’ve learned that there are only two options when it comes to tough situations: either you build an even stronger relationship with your spouse or you turn against your partner and start exploiting them.
- When I will have kids, I want to make sure I pass everything I’ve learned onto them, and enable them to be much happier and fulfilled in life, with a greater capacity to grow, contribute and enjoy life. I want to do something for them every day to meet this goal.
- I want to be kind and respectful to people I meet in life, even if they have different views. But other people doing bad or evil things is where I draw the line.
Contribution to business life
There are only two options. Either you create value, contribute and produce things people are willing to buy and trade, or someone else has to create value for you. In the second case, you exploit other people or society. It’s okay for a social system to have safety nets if something goes wrong, but to feel happy in a normal situation, you need to contribute.
Esteem and self-actualization are at the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Both are closely connected to creating and contributing, because they fulfil your need for achievement, respect, self-confidence, problem-solving and creativity. If you know what and how to contribute and create, it puts you on a mission, on an adventure, you wake up early and can’t sleep at night, because of your big plans for the masterpiece you will create.
Here’s my list of what I want to contribute to business life every day:
- I want to create something every day (an article, design, concept, realize an idea…)
- I want most of the things I create to have real value (no money = no value)
- I want to have high moral standards and integrity for everything I create
- I want my small daily creations to sum up into a big legacy after I am be gone
- The best way for me to contribute is by being a freelancer or an entrepreneur, leveraging technology and dealing with information. It’s how I can contribute the most.
Last but not least, one of the important reasons why we’re here is also to enjoy life. Hard and smart work is only one side of the coin. The other part is playing, relaxing and simply enjoying big and small things in life. If we can connect enjoying life with personal and business contribution and personal growth, that’s even better. From making love to someone we deeply care about to climbing the highest mountains or playing volleyball on the beach. It’s a total win-win. Just enjoying life is okay as well, but I’m not so good with that. Anyway, make sure to enjoy every day of your life, at least for a few minutes.
Here’s my list of what I want to experience every day for my own enjoyment:
- I want to do something for my body every day, especially connected to nature (hiking, swimming, walking, running etc.)
- I want to watch something that inspires me every day and helps me completely relax and recharge (usually some superhero TV shows or 9gag or something similar).
- Since I’m quite a serious person, I enjoy things like deep talks, reading, travelling etc. I strive to experience something new every day.
It may seem like a long list, but to sum up: if I (1) solve a problem, (2) learn something new, (3) reflect on my actions, (4) create something that has real value, (5) experience a deep and loving connection and (6) do something for my body, that is my ideal day.
We all have around 16 hours to execute that, which shouldn’t be hard, especially not with good time management. Actually, I do most of these things every day and you probably do too. It’s just hard to be aware of how close to an ideal day you really are, day by day. Now that I have a clear picture of what my perfect day looks like, there will be more nights on which I’ll feel grateful and blessed before falling asleep.
And what does your ideal day look like?