Imagine this! It’s the end of the day and as you lie on your bed thinking about the events of the day, all you can say is, “Man! Today was a great day…a fulfilling day.” Now imagine a week where you can end every single day like that. For the most part, that’s the kind of week I’ve had. So, I personally sat down and jotted down why I was particularly satisfied with my days. Here’s my personal list of how to make each day special.
Do at least one thing in direction of your dreams and goals
Do you realize that you can live your dreams every single day? I used to think that until every moment of my day was spent doing the things I thoroughly enjoy; and until I was celebrated as a big success in those things, I wasn’t living my dreams. Wrong. That kind of thinking makes you believe that what you are doing in the moment doesn’t count. And so, you fail to see your present situation as an opportunity to learn and prepare for the days ahead. You may find that the life you currently live looks nothing like the life you dream about. Look closer, and you’ll find opportunities to do things that build the foundation for your dreams. Find ways to do the little things that get you to your goal, and remain consistent with them. Do you desire to be CEO of a conglomerate but find yourself working the cash register at Walgreen’s? Grab a business magazine and spend your lunch breaks and evenings with that magazine. Can’t be more than 10 bucks (i.e your morning coffee). In the process you find out how business works and you feed your dream to the point that your heart and mind are filled with it. It won’t be long until you find yourself heading closer and closer to your destination.
Get rid the toxic ‘nevers’, the ‘I can’ts’ and the ‘impossibles’ in your mind
This is something I have to do on a daily basis. I have found that I have to be sensitive to capture the ‘I can’ts’ that attempt to invade my mind because they cripple progress. I have found that when I’m thinking up new ideas on how to do things, or creating something, I have to fight that voice that says ‘you can’t…’you’re not allowed’…or ‘it won’t work.’ The truth is, a mind that carries a multitude of ‘I can’ts’ will never be open to new ideas, opportunities, relationships, and the risks that can make life most rewarding. At the of the day, the individual will look back and see that not much has changed in his or her life through the years. I’m starting to probe at the ‘I can’ts’ to find out what is really behind them, and most times it’s just a voice of fear that comes to cripple. I use scripture to build my faith when these voices sneak in. Here’s one: I have not been given a spirit of fear, but one of power, a brilliant mind, and discipline needed to accomplish the task at hand.
Do something for others (without expecting something in return)
I believe life is most rewarding when it is spent pouring out on others. Serving others prevents you from being preoccupied with YOU – your bank account, your investment plan, your long awaited promotion, your disappointments, your relationship (or lack of one) etc. Now don’t get me wrong. Living a full life requires that you pay attention to these areas; but it gets a tad empty when your mindshare is filled with YOU and nothing else. The sweetest part about serving others is the feedback you get from the people you have helped. It gives such a bolt of energy and inspiration. I have gotten a few feedback stories here and there from people I’ve served. And I’ll tell you this: these are the moments that make me feel that I am oh so valuable.
Explore, explore, explore!
My work exposes me to so much – in terms of business, new technology, and even different kinds of people. There’s no week when I don’t stop to marvel at just how much is happening in our world. It’s beautiful. There is SO much life has to offer — and that was God’s idea. But it’s human nature to get into a routine and we sometimes forget to explore. Or, we get comfortable and we fear opportunities to walk on water. What does it feel like to drive to work using a new route? What’s it like to have a Danish breakfast, a real Chinese lunch, and an Indian dinner? What’s it like to grab coffee with a new person? What’s it like to attend a different church service from the one you usually attend? Explore, explore, explore! And there’s no need for fear. Perfect love casts out ALL fear.
Music, art, products, business plans, relationships, babies (at the right time…) We are all made to create, and we reward ourselves every time we exercise this innate ability. As much as I can during a day, I set time aside to create something. This is something that comes so natural to me. But, creativity doesn’t have to look like what we typically recognize as “creativity”. Some people’s strengths are in building new relationships, or building on business ideas, or even in finding new ways to do the same old things. Whatever your creative strengths are, invest in them on a daily basis. In doing this, you satisfy your brain’s constant thirst for something new. I realize that as you read this, something in your mind may have whispered, “I’m not creative.” But the trust is, you are.
Connect With People
Now by this, I’m speaking about a little bit more than a drop by on someone’s Facebook page. I mean something more personable. As humans we are made to connect; and whether you realize it or not, you thrive when we you are in relationship with others. At the end of the days that I really enjoyed, I look back and ask myself what made the day special; and many times it’s because of a heart to heart I had with someone, or a good laugh I shared with a colleague. I enjoy days that I get to see the pleasantness and humanity in people that I don’t have access to all the time. We all have our flaws, but still, we are all made in God’s likeness. Connecting with others opens us up to the likeness of God in them – whether it’s their sense of humor, their effervescence, or their intellect. Even in our modern hustle and bustle world where many of us are looking to achieve something, our relationships with other people is what makes the days most enjoyable.
Spend time with God
I know someone who once bought a Mercedes; and before she was allowed to drive the car, she was asked to attend a training on how to operate the car. It was as if Mercedes as a manufacturer said, “we know we have put some high potential technology in your hands, and for you to enjoy it to its fullest, we need to show you how to use it.” That’s the same thing that’s at work when I spend time with God. I acknowledge Him as my Maker, my life’s manufacturer, and even more, as a friend. I see Him as the one who knows what every season of my life is meant to look like. He knows the power and capacity He has put in me. He has known my end from the beginning. And so, as I spend time with Him, He shows me how to live my life to its fullest. It’s a daily walk, but it’s one with no regrets.
So here’s a challenge to you. What can you proactively do differently to make all of your days more rewarding?