I was at a work meeting the other day, and one of the participants, asked the question: “How do I know if I had a good day?” She was referring to the connection between what she does during her workday and the larger goals of the corporation.
But I wondered, don’t we all ponder this question at the end of the day?
How many times a day does someone ask you—“How are you?” Of course, most times, we say, “fine”—without really thinking about it. It is a question asked in passing by almost everyone. Who has time to really answer the question? And does the other person really want to know? Or are they just being polite? More often, this question is just a way of saying “Hi”.
But if you could stop, and really consider this question, how would you know how you really are?
Perhaps you would base your answer on how you are feeling today. Did you wake up feeling good? Do you feel energetic, positive, and perky? Or do you feel tired, achy, and glum?
Is everything going smoothly today? No big conflicts with anyone? All of your friends, family, and co-workers are happy to see you. Your boss seems to be pleased with your work. Or your kids are glad to see you when you walk in the door. Your spouse gave you a big hug when you opened the door.
Maybe you accomplished a lot today! Woo hoo! Two-thirds of your to-do list has been crossed off! That always makes me feel good. Somehow, I always assume I can accomplish about 30% more than I can ever get done. Everything just takes longer than I think it will.
But, I think that there is more to this question than how my life is going this day. I think that we have to consider whether today, we are living our larger life goals—Or as the late Stephen Covey asked—“Are we keeping the main thing, the main thing”.
Here’s my “good day” list:
- Did I take time to smell the roses today? Did I breathe in the clean, fresh Northwest air and enjoy its fragrance? Did I enjoy and savor the food I ate?
- Was I present in all my connections with other people?
- Did I smile at others whenever possible?
- Did I laugh?
- Did I take time to be 100% present when I greeted everyone?
- Did I take time to exercise today? To meditate?
- Did I let others know when I appreciated them?
- Did I tell my wife and kids how much I love them?
- Did I demonstrate that love in action?
- Was I a positive influence on others?
- Did I really listen to what others were saying? Did I really seek to understand them? Or was I more interested in making myself understood?
- Was I as kind, caring, and compassionate as I could be?
- Did I take good care of myself?
- Was I patient, focused, and aware?
- Did I feel grateful for all of my blessings?
It is a long list, and I know that I don’t hit 100% every day.
My challenge—remembering what is important when I am racing to the store to pick up some milk! It is so easy to get lost, side tracked, distracted, and caught up in my immediate concerns. That is when I forget what is really important to me.
Make a list on a 3X5 card of what comprises a good day for you. When you look at it, you will remember what makes your day.
What’s on your list? How do you know if you had a good day?