DO YOUR BEST, THE REST WILL COME
I was in the Mekong Delta last week to organise a press trip for the hospitality group I’m working for. I made an agenda of everything that needs to be done in 4 days: (1) Organize a Golden Age of Indochina theme press trip (2) Work on personal projects (3) Enjoy myself, the region and our gorgeous hotels (4) Refine the ideas of next steps of How to get Everything you want so that I can write them down when I’m back home.
The schedule was tight. I ended up waking up at 4am almost everyday, had a quick conference with my advisor in Canada, had my 2 hour breakfasts with GMs of the hotels and witnessed the life floating on Mekong river, ran the trips, organized activities, enjoyed the food and the (excellent) spa at the hotels, journaled, went to bed on time. Eventually, I made an extra video to show you the beauty of the Mekong Delta, one of my most favourite places on earth:
You might be thinking that I am trying to tell how hard working and well organised I am – you are totally right. Writers don’t (just) think the books or try to write the books, writers actually write the books. I like to think of myself as 99% disciplined and 1% glamorous. In other words, take control of everything you can control, own them and feel good about yourself. Let go of the rest, let the universe do its job.
The greatest feeling at the end of the day (in my opinion) is to know that: I couldn’t have done it any better.
Now how can we be sure that we did our best for the day: Plan daily and get the work done – every single day. Everyone has his own way to plan. I personally plan years ahead, quarterly, weekly and daily, not yearly, not monthly. My another favourite is the weekly plan (a.k.a. Google calendar) but let’s talk about the daily plan today.
My tool for daily planning is The Five Minute Journal (you can buy hard copy or app, I use the app). Every morning you write (1) three things that you are grateful for in life and (2) three most important tasks you’d like to complete for the day. Every night you write a reflection of three best things that happened (or was finished) that day and how could you do it better.
My July 23rd looked like this (please excuse some typos, I was half awake):
I love this stuff!
It literally takes me 3 minutes (every morning) to remind myself about good things in life and three most important tasks that need to be completed during the day. It takes me another 2 minutes (every night) before going to sleep to reflect on my progress. I’ve trained myself to a level that I almost always finish all my three big tasks (plus a bunch of extra stuff) and write “I couldn’t have done it any better” at the end of the day.
I’ll share with you one (not that) little trick with this little journal: Don’t limit yourself to only work related tasks, put in tasks like “Get a massage” or “Go dancing” or “Treat myself a nice dinner” regularly and DO your best to make it happen. And if I (or anyone) couldn’t have executed the (every) day any better then the best thing to do next is: Let other things (which you can’t control) go and go to bed, have sweet dreams.
Did we miss something?
I share one feeling that you might be having (I feel the same all the time) – sometimes you want something so bad that you dream about it, work hard, do you best and still you are afraid that things won’t go the way you want them to (many times they won’t).
Let’s imagine that you’ve boarded a ship to sail the ocean. You did your best to select the best ship on earth, looked for the best weather and studied all the safety manual.
Nevertheless, no one would ever truly know if the weather would actually be great or good or bad or really bad. Being afraid of things that are out of your control is like worrying too much about sudden (bad) weathers while sailing. You’ve boarded the best ship on earth, studied the safety manual, looked for the best weather – now let go of things (that you can’t control) and enjoy the ride, the rest will come.
How to get Everything you want (THEN WHAT?)