How I Stay Alive Today and Look Forward to Life Tomorrow
Here’s how I resolve to keep the flashlight turned on in the dark. It’s how I inject life into what I do as opposed to just going through the motions like a zombie.
Did I do my best to set my goals today?
This morning my goal was to wake up with five deep breaths, say my “ground of being” intention, pray for my loved ones, find a couple things to be grateful for, drink water and do my push ups and sit ups. I know that if I can do those handful of things off my list when I wake up, I’m on my way to getting just one tenth better, and for each day in a row that I get one tenth better, it compounds, and by the end of a year or three, that makes for significant improvement – life changing improvement. My real goal is to keep my improvements compounding.
Did I do my best to make progress today?
I define “progress” by assessing if I made my life happen today. When I make my life happen I am present with my kids. I am kind to my kids. I am engaged at work. I am writing thoughts and ideas in my journal. I am prepared for the day with enough nutrition that I am not in a situation where I have to compromise with Subway or the corner greasy spoon. I am following up with people and connecting with new people and doing my due diligence. I am doing what is right and asking useful questions. I am assessing projects (and even sometimes relationships) and asking myself if it’s time to stick or quit. I am asking if this is a dead end or a place I should leap. I trust these things make life happen.
Did I do my best to make meaning today?
For me, making meaning might be a conversation overheard, a scrap of story a coworker, friend or family member shared. It could be a dream I had and usually is when I do recall my dreams. It might be a twinge of a memory I have that longs for reconciliation in my journal. It might just be a resonant line that’s been replaying itself and needs to be quickly jotted down. Making meaning is remarkable communication and there is a craft in that practice that has always stayed with me among life changes. It’s writing this blog right now.
Did I do my best to be grateful today?
My big thing since New Years has been “gratitude alchemy.” There’s like one hundred different ways to practice gratitude and it seems like before the year is over I will have tried them all. I think the number one reason I have gotten serious about gratitude is because all the happy elderly folks I know are artists at turning a negative thought into a positive thought. I want to live to be age 100. It requires “grateful alchemy.” It’s what saves a life, any life, your life, my life. The more and more practice with this and it will become routine to execute on positive thoughts. Being grateful helps us execute on positive thoughts.
Did I do my best to build positive relationships today?
The relationship I have with myself comes first so that’s where I start. Being integrous with my word is important to me. I ask things like, Am I making promises I can’t keep? Am I procrastinating on something that another person is counting on me for? I know that if I am integrous with my word that my relationships with others will automatically improve. I know that if I am practicing being kind and grateful my interactions with people and my relationships that matter to me will thrive. I do my best to review these things every day.
What am I doing in my last minutes before sleep?
I used to crawl into bed and open Facebook or Instagram or the Weather or the News or chase a link to an article on my phone and get mindless for 10 or 20 minutes. I thought that was a shitty habit to have. In doing so, I’m making myself susceptible to someone else’s thinking. It’s not an intentional way of being so I stopped. Now, I still open my phone but I go through this list^ I’ve just shared with you. I ask myself all these questions. I take a few moments to write any last thoughts, which I write on my phone. I’m such a “fat fingered” typist with my phone I have to go slow and be thoughtful, and this makes me drowsy. It’s a great way to fall away into deep rest.
Cheers to a good life. To me, a good life is being happy in the moment and looking forward to the next. This is my current practice to having a good life.