I often make observations regarding long-term issues, goals, and visions. While it is important to be acutely aware of your long-term goals and vision, what really matters today is in fact, today.
Four ingredients will determine if today turns out to be fantastic or frustrating. These four ingredients must be combined and baked within your mind, before you finish that first critical cup of coffee. You can determine if your day will go well before 8 am.
First, decide your attitude. Decide that you will be full of optimism and energy today, before you finish that steaming mug. Zig was right — It really helps to say to yourself “today is going to be a great day.”
Second, choose your top priority mission for this day, without overloading yourself. Pick one strategically important thing to get done, one valuable task that when completed, will result in a really good day. Then specify two other “bonus” items of importance that you would like to finish. Write these three items on your calendar, blocking out the needed time for your top mission.
Third, decide to be a person of decisive, committed action for today. Anticipate that other people’s urgencies will pop up this morning and try to derail your efforts from the primary mission. As you sip that first cup, decide that you will be gracious and warm to all, while undeterred and focused on your top mission. Do whatever is necessary to get started on the mission before lunch. It is best to complete your primary mission before noon, freeing up time for the bonus initiatives in the afternoon.
Fourth, as that first cup runs dry, think through what you will do when you run into a roadblock. Adapt and overcome, with perseverance and tenacity. Too many people run into a roadblock and shelve the mission to gather dust for weeks or months. If your #1 mission for today was deserving of being #1, it deserves your whole-hearted commitment and tenacity. I find that if I think through alternate plans, roadblocks don’t seem like dead-ends but rather simple detours.
Lastly, after dinner, write down on your calendar a short blurb of how your day went. Pale ink is far better than a great memory.
If you use this simple recipe while drinking your first critical cup of coffee for 4 weeks, I believe you will find you will have had a great month. Accomplishing personally important initiatives leads to progress and happiness. Review your calendar entries at the end of the month and you will find peace and optimism.
It is up to you to make today a fabulous experience. A fabulous life is the product of lots of fabulous days.
I.M. Optimism Man