Above is a perfect average day that I recently had.
Nothing spectacular right?
Except that I envisioned it, designed it, and lived it. That’s what makes it amazing.
And I believe that you have the power to do so too.
I don’t experience my Perfect Average Day everyday…yet, but every choice I make as I intentionally design my life increases the possibility of me experiencing it more often.
How Would You Spend 24 Hours If You Had To Relive It Every Day?
You saw the movie Groundhog Day. If you had to live the same day over and over again, what would you want it to look like?
What would your Perfect Average Day look like? What time would you wake up? Next to who? What would you eat? Would you exercise? How would you work with your employer? Where would you work from? What times would you work? Would you take a nap? Would you cook dinner or eat out? What time would you go to sleep?
Every single day you make 1,000s of choices—most unconscious and automated and the rest intentional. Between the moment you wake up and the moment you leave your front door for work, you make 100s of choices:
– Am I going to wake up on time? Will I hit snooze?
– What am I going to wear? Blue or white? Striped or solid?
– Am I going to eat breakfast? If so, what?
– Coffee or no coffee?
– Am I going to exercise? What exercises should I do?
– Buy lunch or bring lunch?
– How should I wear my hair?
Research shows that 95% of our life is on automatic, meaning that we aren’t being intentional about most of the choices we have daily. We’re letting life come as it is rather than shaping it into what we want to experience. And that’s why most people feel miserable and powerless. In the land of the free, we’ve given up our own freedom in many respects.
What Are The Ingredients Of Life?
When people hear the term Perfect Average Day, oftentimes they fast-forward to retirement where they envision themselves chilling on a beach somewhere in the Caribbean with their significant other drinking pina coladas. But after 2 weeks pass, they start thinking to themselves, “Is this it? Is this what I gave up 40 years of my life for?” That’s why thinking about the way you design your life in terms of your Perfect Average Day is powerful. It roots it in the now rather than the future.
A life is made up of many years. Years are a made of many months. Months are made of many days. Days are made up of many hours. Hours are made up of many minutes. And minutes are made of many moments. Therefore, life is in the moments. How you choose to spend your time will determine the quality of your life. You can either create moments or appreciate the ones that are made for you. By envisioning your Perfect Average Day, you can start to be more intentional about how you’re spend your time to experience your Perfect Average Day more often.
How Can You Make An Average Day Extraordinary?
One pushback that I get from people when I do this exercise with them is “I don’t want my days to be average.” The video below demonstrates that some parts of life are average and mundane, but it’s our approach or view of the average and mundane parts of life that make a huge difference. The word average suggests that this is the type of day you want to normalize in your life. You can design a day that includes working, eating, and sleeping or you can design a day that is full of adventure. But here is the catch…How can you make working, eating, and sleeping adventurous?
How Can One Small Intentional Choice Make A Big Difference?
One day, a retailer received an order for 50 black turtlenecks all the same size. Do you know who placed this order?
Why would he do that?
Because he did not want to waste valuable thought energy in the morning on thinking about what he was going to wear. Some people spend an hour per day choosing what they are going to wear. That’s a lot. Instead, Steve Jobs said (through his actions) that isn’t important to him because he would rather spend his mental energy on bigger problems like “How do I design a technology that works for record labels, musicians, and music consumers?” Hence, the iPod and iTunes.
I’m not suggesting that this simple decision led to the creation of the iPod or iTunes, but I do believe that it created space in Steve Jobs’ life to think about those things by not having to worry about what he was going to wear every day.
So, What Are Some Small Intentional Choices You Can Make Now To Shift Your Day?
So one way to start to shift your day is to make a list of all of the choices you have in your day.
There are 3 types of choices:
1. Ones you feel you have 100% control over (i.e. what you’re going to eat for lunch)
2. Ones that involve others (i.e. what time your meeting will be)
3. Ones you feel like you don’t have any say in (i.e. dress code for work)
Write them all down. You should at least have 100.
Now ask yourself:
1. Which ones in category 1 am I not taking full advantage of (i.e. what time I wake up or go to sleep)?
2. Which ones in categories 2 and 3 can I take more control over (i.e. when I start and depart work)?
3. Which choices do I want to automate so I don’t have to think about them (i.e. Steve Job’s turtlenecks)?
4. Which two intentional choices am I going to implement this week.
Try this and let me know what intentional choices you decide to make. Each small choice will increase the possibility of your experiencing your Perfect Average Day more often.
Share your small intentional choices in the comments area below. I would love to hear what you choose and how you are implementing it.
Hustle smarter (not harder),
P.S. This exercise was inspired by this video I watched by Frank Kern below.