Noah St. John's theories of success, have stuck with me, like rice grains wedged in the crevass between the burner and the stovetop. In a previous post I talked about his "loving mirrors," about how if you're trying out a new idea, having a trustworthy friend there to tell you it's a good idea is better than psyching yourself up in a vacuum. Having someone you believe in believe in you can be just the nudge you need to get yourself unstuck.
The other idea that has stayed with me is about setting goals. He suggests that instead of imagining your biggest goal and visualizing the moment you attain it--like winning an Oscar, or accepting the Nobel Prize. Or opening your front door to find a couple of people with a big check from Publishing House Sweepstakes, or (much more highbrow) from the MacArthur Foundation. ...
Pardon me, I drifted off into such a fabulous reverie.
Anyhoo, INSTEAD of visualizing your moment of greatest glory, Noah St. John suggests imagining your average perfect day.
You know, what your life would be like once you've won that "genuis" award, once you've appeared on Oprah or Mike Douglas or....
Pardon me, I drifted off again. And I know neither of those hosts has a talk show anymore, but it's my fantasy.
What your regular day would be like if you'd achieved your goals. His point is to imagine what your life would be like from day-to-day, if you were doing the thing you love to do. Are you in an office? Are you in a hut on the beach? Are you surrounded by gladiator/dancers who pull you in a chariot while you're dressed in something tight, short and fabulous with amazing gold-heeled boots and you're incredibly fit even though you've got to be at least 52 or 53...
Sorry. Did it again.
And I thought, hmmm, that I can do. Imagining The Average Perfect Day appeals to my pragmatic side--yes, I do have one. It sidesteps hubris and hyperbole. It also daintily steps over Self Doubt that likes to settle down at my feet but is always ready to race to the window and bark at any stray positive thought I might entertain.
And I thought, well in my average perfect day, I'd have blocks of free time in the afternoon. I'd spend my time writing. I'd have time to walk outside and exercise; I'd meditate. I'd have some solitude. And then my kids would come home from school and I'd focus on them. And then the husband would arrive and I'd still focus on my kids....
And THEN I thought, you know what? I'm already living my average perfect day.
I have succeeded, my dozens of readers.
Now if only someone would PAY me to do this.
And some of us do get paid, but don't have many perfect days. I guess that is what people mean when they say, "You can't have it all." I still wish you could!ReplyDelete
Well, I think you can have it all, just not all at once. And now that I'm enjoying myself, it's time to figure out how to earn money. Which will probably mean a little less enjoying of my days.ReplyDelete
hope this is gorgeous. thank you.ReplyDelete
No, thank YOU!Delete
Hey, those look like the blackberries we had in abundance in our back yard at our old house! The house we live in now doesn't have a blackberry bush, so we must risk life and limb in the summer when the hubby pulls over at the sight of some random bush burdened with ripening fruit. Worth it.ReplyDelete
Your average perfect day sounds like mine, except for the empty nest we have, which makes it even more perfect for me. And for the hubby, since he doesn't have to share my focus when he drags his employed self home and I must make up for the fact that I have average perfect days every day at his expense.
You and I also have the same pet, Self Doubt. Your stray positive thoughts are much more interesting to bark at. My Self Doubt must be bored. Repetitive insecurities are all she gets.
And I'm sure someone among your dozens of readers (yay! dozens, not merely tens, did I call it or did I call it) does in fact picture an average perfect day IN AN OFFICE.
I wish we had blackberries in our backyard! Maybe we'll plant one.Delete
I would love to hear about someone's average perfect day in an office. I myself got very depressed when I had to work 9-5 in an office. But sometimes, when I think about financial issues, a 9-5 job of any kind seems like an excellent idea!
As for Self-Doubt: very popular breed, appropriate for all creative types. Loyal, and not easily subdued....
This is great! It seems to me that one of the primary keys to happiness to to be more grateful for what one has than wishful for what one does not have. There is so much that I aspire to and there is much I will never achieve thanks to insurmountable obstacles. Yet I cannot and will not deny my unbelievable fortune. I quite literally cannot believe I am this lucky. Anyway, well done, Hope! Not merely this great essay, but in what you've achieved in your life - including your recognition and appreciation for your achievements. :)ReplyDelete
David, I've been working on it! Frustration, despair, and pessimism have also been my companions-but less lately. It is definitely true that what you think about shapes you. (Buddhism).Delete