It???s important to finish and to finish right, but what has huge bearing on this, is how you start. Finishing right should be interpreted as finishing as you???ve intended whether or not that coincides with a typically conventional finish. It requires a look within as opposed to outside forces or feedback from others. It also requires a consideration, before you start, as to how you intend to finish. As for the start, the kind that we???re looking at here is an intentional start.
Keith Ferrazi, an expert on relationship development, renowned speaker, author of Never Eat Alone and Who’s Got Your Back shared an enlightening snippet in the book, End Malaria. There, he shared the 15 minute secret. His secret was to start the day by design. You can read the essay here .
I think that Keith is absolutely right. There are days when I???ve just plunged right into my day, frequently I might confess, with hardly a thought of what???s been done the day before or even what I want to achieve. The day rolls by pretty fast and there are many things coming at you. I find that it???s easy to get caught up in the deluge of email and phone calls and other people???s expectations and demands that you can very easily forget the demands you place on yourself. Demands? We all make demands on ourselves and others. We can either do it with a sense of mindfulness… or not. It???s kind of like making decisions. If you decide to sit on the fence about an issue you???ve been putting off deciding, whether you realise it or like it, at some point, the decision is made. Either someone else makes it for you or you???ve arrived at your decision through the passage of time. So putting off a decision doesn???t always mean that you???ve not made a decision.
Likewise, a day or a life that is well-planned, that is brought to bear by the seeds of a considered approach is one I believe worth living. Yet, while you can agree that something is good for you, you can still fail to make that a reality. How many of us know that we should not rush through our meals or sit in front of the telly while eating our dinner and yet we do so? How many of us smoke despite the well-publicised and documented effects of smoking?
Knowing something should or should not be done is never enough to get things to transition from hope to reality. It???s how you make sense of something and apply it in your own world that makes something move from that sphere of possibility into what???s real.
I???ve been sporadically approaching my day in a planned fashion but am going to consciously create a ritual I know I can sustain. It involves three things :-
1. writing ??? capturing the day, week or thought that???s been. It???s a great way to sustain the writing habit I am eager to develop and gives me a chance to ponder and reflect.
2. planning my day ??? I will have a look at what???s on my plate and consider what I would like to work on. If I plan this early enough in the day, it gives me a laser focus on what my goals are, as the day progresses.
3. dreaming ??? setting aside a few minutes of random daydreaming. Allowing things muddling in my head to settle, giving myself some white space and generally having a good time. Daydreaming is fun and it???s good to start the day with something fun that wont drag you down.
All this planning sounds like a lot of work but not all planning is. To some extent, its actually just calling a sense of mindfulness to your day and it can take minutes.
These are the minutes that make the difference though. Give it a try and let me know what you think.