It should be obvious at this point that the whole point about having good days or bad, indifferent days or horrible days is all a matter of perception and response. You have the power to control your destiny if you have the power to control your own mind. The Romans, famous for the conquests and rule, had a very potent saying. “He conquers twice who conquers himself when he is victorious.”
The saying implies that you should conquer your own emotions even when it is good. There is a twofold lesson in this. The first is that you can tell a man’s virtue by how he treats victory. If he gloats and unleashes his desire to thump his chest it is as bad as if he lost because what matters is not one battle, but how a man has control over his mind and his emotions.
For you to control your emotions, the only tool powerful enough to do that is the mind. For the mind to counter the emotions and overcome exhilaration or sadness, the mind needs to be strong and disciplined.
Each evening is a renewal from the wears of the day, and a platform to launch from for the next. It’s like the caterpillar tracks of an army tank or a tractor – they connect one to the next and if you keep them moving, then it propels you forward.
Have a Purpose
You should always have a purpose and make sure that purpose is far enough out front to create a point on the horizon for you. Like that sailor we mentioned, you have to have a point on the horizon to always align towards, no matter what the distraction.
When something knocks you off your purpose, treat it as a distraction. This way, it is easy to compartmentalize many of the possible unpleasant things you face. If you only do what you plan toward the achievement of your purpose, then everything else is a distraction.
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Control Your Mind
Make it a habit to control your mind. If you don’t want to think about something, then don’t allow your mind to fixate on it. That’s a distraction and the worse kind. External distractions can be halted in a short time but internal distractions take time for you to not practice.
Renew Your Purpose Daily
As soon as you rise in the morning, bring your mind about by reviewing your purpose and renewing your commitment to that purpose. Remind yourself that you have an achievement to go after. Commit to it and remind yourself that distractions will come, but you have the power to avoid them.
Review Your Daily Activity
At the end of the day, once it is all silent in the house and there are no distractions, stand up to yourself in your mind and be accountable for the actions you took during the day.
- Did you move firmly to your objective and accomplishments?
- Were you distracted for prolonged periods?
- Did you accomplish all that you set out to do?
- Did you spend time with your family?
- Did you spend time with nature?
Working out on a daily basis is a key to being happy and having more good days. Workouts confer clarity and stamina. This allows you to make better decisions and make fewer mistakes – leading to lesser bad days. Make sure you do at least a small workout just to get your circulation going and get your happy hormones pumping. The more activity you do the better you can control your positive state. The more positive you are, the more things appear positive or innocuous to you. Start working out every day starting with just 10 minutes, and you will notice a significant change in your life. There is no specific time that is best to work out, but the time you work out has different effects. If you work out in the morning, your day will be vibrant. If you work out at night, your reflection period will be clear. If you work out at lunchtime, your afternoon will be energized. Try it out, see which time works best for you.
Have a Routine
A routine is like a ritual, it triggers different states within you. The best routine starts in the evening and goes all the way until you get to your first-morning task. As an example, a friend of mine who is highly successful starts his routine at 6.30 pm every evening. It’s his cocktail time at home with his wife. They cook dinner together and sit down to dinner with the family. He puts his kids to bed at 9 and heads to the study and starts at 9.30 on the dot. Here he reflects on his day. He makes notes of points that occur to him about it.
He analyzes conversations he had, makes notes about where he can improve and then looks at the things he needs to do the following day. He has two lists – a task list and an accomplishment list. (Task lists are things that he has to do with instant outcomes. For instance – a task to go to the laundry place on the corner can be easily accomplished and the objective and the accomplishments are very close to each other. These tasks are easily accomplished. The second is the list of accomplishments that you want to make but you don’t break them down into tasks. You focus on the objective and let your task for the moment be dictated by the desire to do whatever it takes.) Once he has done that, he visualizes the accomplishment of those lists and goes to bed. When he wakes up, before even opening his eyes, he searches and locates in his mind all the things he had visualized the night before and gets into character for the day. He puts himself in a state, gets out of bed and starts going after what he has to do. From the 6.30 pm to 4.30 am (did I mention he wakes up at 4 am?) everything is scripted into a habitual routine.
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Wake Up Early before the Sun Rises
Start your day before everyone else in the house and before the sun illuminates the sky. Remember to prepare yourself for the unexpected and remind yourself to use the schedule and purpose on the horizon to protect and shield you from distractions.
People tend to get turned off at the mention of meditation. It’s not what you think. I am not suggesting that you take up meditation in any spiritual sort of manner. This is a comparatively mild version of meditation when you clear your mind and just allow it to decompress. You focus on the silence and away from the chaos.
The idea of reading is almost too trivial to mention but it needs to be included in your daily evening routine. The topic of your reading should stay away from things like world news or anything negative. You should read anything that you like as long as it contributes to building you up rather than breaking you down.
These ten items will serve you well as you do them on good days, bad and the days that fall in between. If you do these as a ritual then it will gradually become the precursor to a driven self. Starting the night before allows your subconscious to prepare you through the night then fire you up again in the morning when you wake up. It is the best thing that has worked for me in my life, and I notice that a lot of successful people have some similar routines where they let their subconscious do the heavy lifting at night while they sleep than when they wake up. It seems that they have made things easier for themselves.
You can arrange these ten steps in any arrangement you’d like, as long as it makes sense to you and your lifestyle will create a path to more happy and good days.
As you assimilate all this, there are a few other issues that you should keep at the back of your mind. The first is that the body needs to have two parts in balance. It needs work and it needs rest. You can’t have all work and no rest, and you can’t have all the rest you’d like and no work. You need both, and it is as important as each other. While they are equally important, their quantity, measured in time, is not equal. You don’t have 6 hours of work followed by 6 hours of play or rest. They vary by individual and you need to find the ration that optimizes your performance. For me, I find that five hours of sleep at night works ideally when I supplement it with a quick 10-minute snooze at lunchtime. I am equally fresh after lunch in that case as I am when I first wake up. A large part of having a good day is to keep the mind well rested. So, take the time to rest and take the time to de-stress and unwind in the evening when you get home. If you have the opportunity to stop at the gym, that would be a good way for you to wind down.
You should also practice good eating habits. If you are carrying an extra load in terms of weight, you should consider doing something about it. Eat healthily but don’t starve. The best air fryer for fish will help you on your weight loss journey by helping you cut on the amount of oil you cook with. Adopt and maintain good eating habits and let your body weight return to normal using a good workout routine. The increased endorphins from the workout and the reduction in toxins from eating healthy will go a long way in giving you clarity of mind and that will make for many good days.
Most importantly, the key to having good days and increasing their frequency is to have a formidable support structure. Not only does it give you purpose but it also provides you with an outlet to talk about things – not just problems but of the good things and the fun things.
The key is to keep your family close. Sometimes we forget that our families are the best things that happen to us. They give us all we need and demand nothing in return. The days you get to spend with your family are always good days if you so choose to decide.
With all that said and done, it’s time to look at a simple routine at the end of each day that will be certain to align the stars in your favor so that you wake up ready to take on your accomplishments.
- Workout before dinner
- Have a light dinner with family
- Spend some time playing games or chatting with your family
- Read something that interests you
- Listen to classical music
- Reflect and review your day
- Plan your next day
- Go to bed by 10pm
Make this simple list into a habit and you will start to see the benefit in terms of good days within a week of practice.