4 Tips for A Successful Day – At Home And At Work (Episode 321)
What constitutes a successful day for you? Do you have a clear idea of what "success" means to you? To your family? In your life? What questions can you ask to ensure you've met "success" today?
Our lifestyle may look very different than a lot of you who are listening to the episode below, or reading this post. However, a lot of the practices that we do can still work in your life.
When you look at someone's life that is different than your own, do you just see them as the exception? Or you? Well, THEY always have good luck. Or, this always happens to me!
What if you looked at someone else's story as an inspiration to learn and refine your own?
The Strangest Secret
In our Eagles community where we're collaborating together and activating our dreams, we're doing a month-long challenge of listening to The Strangest Secret. It's an oldie but goodie. I was first introduced to it by my father, who purchased a little 33 1/3 record when he was 13 years old with this message that profoundly impacted his life. It boils down to these six magic words:
You become what you think about.
This little 30-minute message we've been listening to on repeat, and Earl Nightingale shares about what success really is:
So what does success look like in your home? How are you defining progress on goals or success if you've never discussed it? A big key element of any progress is intentional awareness and talking about it.
Are you thinking about, talking about, and focusing on where you want to go, or what is going wrong?
Your Family Vision
We touched on this a bit in the podcast - our definition of success very much stems from our family vision. Spending the time to really talk about what we want "family" to look like, and getting intentional about what words encompassed that for us gave us a compass for every other part of our lives as well.
For us, we sat down and brainstormed all the ideas of what family meant to us, and we boiled it down to 6 words. These 6 words encapsulated what we wanted to have as the focus of our family team. We as a team believe that our goals and desires in this world are to explore, respect, listen, connect, learn, and love. And so we use that as a barometer for everything we do.
Does success mean peace and calm and serenity in your home, or does success mean boisterous, loud, free-form fun? There isn't a right or wrong here; what does your family crave and desire in their lives?
Going back to "The Strangest Secret", it's a great first step in really looking at what manifestation and abundance is all about. It's a great insight into the power of your own mind.
Four Questions For A Successful Day
Let's first address it this way. These are questions to ask yourself at the beginning and the end of your day. To set an intention, and to learn from reflection. Both are important. So as you go through these questions, address them when you wake up - think about how you'll proactively approach them today. And then, before you go to bed tonight, reflect on how well you did, and what you may do differently tomorrow.
These questions will be asked proactively - for you to address at the beginning of the day. And then to reflect on in the evening:
#1: What Will I Learn?
Maybe it's picking up a book and reading something new. Maybe it's learning something you didn't know from some online article. Maybe it's going on a walk in silence, and simply being with yourself to gain new insights.
Sometimes what you learn is just how to muscle through a hectic day. Sometimes you simply learn one thing that gets you out of survival mode for a minute.
You may have learned whether something was worth pushing it. Maybe the thing you learn has nothing to do with academics and is actually a clear lesson in what you don't want in life. That's fine. The point is to reflect on it and learn from it to make better steps forward.
At the end of the day, can you identify this? Is there anything you can take from today that does not make you a victim of this moment or a victim of the past? What moves you forward with one more insight you can use to make a better step tomorrow?
#2: How Can I Contribute?
There is a great book by Adam Grant, Give And Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success that talks about givers, takers, and matchers. It really brings to your awareness the give and take of life, and how people tend to gravitate toward being givers, takers, or matchers. There are pros and cons to all, and we need to learn the balance.
I'm sure you've heard of deposits and withdrawals in a relationship. Much like the bank, if you don't have anything invested, ultimately you're going to run out of money. When all we do is take, ultimately we run that person empty. And you simply cannot give any more from an empty cup.
There are days, especially with young kiddos, where there can be a whole lot of take. As a parent of minors, that's part of our reality. They're dependent on us. The younger they are, oftentimes the needier they are as they haven't yet learned to do things on their own.
Yes, they will start as "takers". A big gift we can give them is to help them learn how to give as well. Teach your children - by example - to give back and to contribute.
We're not just raising little kids that then flip that switch to become an adult. We are raising roommates now. They're living with us now. They may not have the full maturity to understand every aspect of being an awesome roommate, yet that doesn't mean they are incapable of showing respect for others in the household. As they grow, the more they have the opportunity to learn and to make a larger impact.
Since they're making an impact either way, would you rather it be in chaos or contribution?
The more our own cups are full from kids who take into consideration their impact, the more we are likely to say yes, to do fun things, to give and enjoy more as a family. We all feel supported.
#3: How Will I Find Joy?
Finding joy can be completely on your own. It can be with your whole family. It can be with individuals in the family.
One of Nathan's favorite things to ask other men is, "What do you do for fun? What brings you joy?" They often look at him like a deer in the headlights, realizing they'd never really thought about it before.
How are you intentionally seeking joy in your life? Are you allowing yourself those little "joy spark" moments?
Go for a walk. Look around you and just find gratitude in something small. The intricacy of a plant or insect. The feeling of the wind on your face.
Find those positive reels on social media. Yes, there can be fun and joy on there. I wish I could share my feed with everyone, as it's full of funny animals, inspirational messages, and silly dad jokes. We often share them and laugh together!
All you need to do is look for it. It's there.
#4: How Will I Connect?
This has more than one layer, of course. First and foremost, how will you connect with yourself? is it a stretch, a meditation, or taking a catnap this afternoon to recharge? Is it journaling or just taking a few deep breaths and bringing awareness to how you're feeling in the present moment?
When you're doing a task, are you truly present in it? Nathan and I have done a lot of experimenting with silent hiking/walking/biking. No talking, podcast, music...simply being in the quiet of our surroundings and letting our minds wander.
Beyond our own personal connection and checking in on our own self-awareness, how about your partner? Do you acknowledge them in the morning or just go about your day? Did you look them in the eye and really see them this morning? When was the last time you touched?
How about your kids? Just stopping to check in with them and see how they're doing. Have you asked them what their interests are lately, or let them know how much you care about them? It doesn't take long to give a little hug or stop and give someone your full attention. In less than a minute, you can create a deep connection simply by being present. Can you take the extra few seconds to give your loved ones a kiss or hug goodbye before you walk out the door?
Just remind yourself, how long does it really take to give your kid a hug? How long does it really take to give your partner a kiss?
What if this was the last time you got that chance?
Simply looking at these 4 questions for a successful day, can you reflect back at the end of the day and say, "I did..."
Be proactive and intentional to create these moments. You'll find the more you do, the more they also create themselves.
Take an inventory of your distractions. Where might you redirect your energy - maybe off of social media and onto your kids, or away from the drama that is out of your control and more in the present moment?
The next time you feel like jumping on your phone to cruise, maybe take that time to stop and have a conversation and just check in with your child or partner. They can both take the same amount of time, yet one is profoundly different than the other. And one will leave you feeling way better with dopamine than the other. I promise.
As we wrapped up the podcast, Nathan shared something profound. He was talking about a little clip he watched of Neil DeGrasse Tyson talking about magnetism and how magnets work. The closer you are to a magnet, the slower things are. Satellites out in space are running in way faster time than our watches here on Earth due to the gravitational pull.
And he observed how our core families can be our magnet where time slows down...even if it moves quickly around us. When we are grounded in the present moment, time really ends up non-existent. It's forever and flying by at the same time.
When you are with others you care about, you experience this grounding effect of a relationship where time can almost stop. Yet when you're on your phone aimlessly scrolling, it can fly by, as you're not grounded to anything - simply an observer.
How grounded are you to your day? We'll dig into this more in next week's episode.
How can you be intentional if you're listening to this at the beginning of your day? Set your attention now to these four questions. If it's at the end of the day, think about what you're going to do tomorrow and reflect back on today to see how well you've done.
- How did you learn?
- How did you contribute?
- How did you find joy?
- And how did you connect today to those ones that you love so dearly?
The uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us.