Updated: Oct 1, 2020
Today I realized that a great day is the sum of great moments; moments which I choose to create.
Over the last week or two, I've been feeling rather let down by my days. That's not to say that they were bad days, and certainly nothing particularly terrible happened. It's just that I would end each day by looking back at what's happened and feeling "eh, today wasn't a good day."
For a while, I've held this idea that my life is simply the sum of all my days, and that if I would like to have an extraordinary life, I have to start by constructing extraordinary days. And then doing that again. And again. And again.
And so, after each lukewarm day this week, I would find myself thinking that if today would be representative of my life overall, well, that would be pretty disappointing. Now, of course it's entirely okay to have non-great days. It's pretty much inevitable. But as the quantity of non-great days begins to pile up, my overall life becomes by definition increasingly not-great.
As not-great days become the norm, I have to take a closer look at whether this is simply a momentary and perhaps healthy dip, or is this representative of a larger life-trend that, if left unchecked, will become a defining feature of this period of my life.
My day is only as great as the way in which I spend it. So, if I had a non-great day, more often than not, it's because I chose not to spend it in a great way. And if I want tomorrow to be a great day, then I have to start spending more of my day doing great things. I need to sit down, close my eyes, and think of great things that I can include in my day and then go ahead and do just that.
While this is a fairly obvious idea, it's something that I find myself coming back to again and again. Asking myself what my ideal day would look like and then working step-by-step to add one piece (and then another) into my actual days. Does spending 10 minutes in meditation add some greatness to my day? Does exercising for 30 minutes add some greatness? Calling my grandmother? Going for a walk? Writing a blog post?
These are all things that can be sprinkled into my days and are a surefire way of increasing, if only by degrees, the greatness of each and every day of my life.
Note: By not-great, I don't mean unhappy. I can have an unhappy day which is still great, if in fact I treated that day in a great way, getting as much out of it as it was willing to offer up.
By not-great I mean a day which is as close to a non-day as I can imagine. I didn't learn anything, I didn't discover anything, I didn't have any meaningful interactions; today was a blank slate and I left it that way. If it was deleted from my life, I would have lost nothing.