Here is his 3-step formula for a happy, productive day (with my own thoughts added under each one):
- Interact with God – For us Christians, God is the center of our universe. Interacting with Him means to center ourselves in the universe. I recognize for others, this is accomplished through meditation or another form of worship. I meditate through a study of scripture and through prayer. The importance of this step is identifying the greater, bigger picture and finding your place in it. Without centering yourself in the universe and without having a bigger picture of the “greater good” (whatever that ends up being for you), you are merely bouncing around tasks with no purpose. Do you set aside time to meditate? The physical and mental health benefits are real. Part of this step is to increase in love. Loving-kindness meditation stems from Buddhist tradition and involves focusing your thoughts on increasing unconditional love for yourself and for others. There are benefits associated with this practice as well. This step requires you to spend mindful time each day away from selfishness and focus on something greater than just you.
- Interact with Others – Step one leads to step 2. When we spend time each day to center ourselves in love and the bigger picture, we’re able to step outside of ourselves and look to others. Social isolation is both the precursor to bigger problems and the warning sign for many others. When we isolate ourselves, we miss out on the benefits we receive when we spend time with other people. When we spend time with people we love, we are investing our time in those relationships. Turn off your phone and computer, pull out a board game, and gather your friends and family around. We can also learn so much from other people. Everyone has different talents and skills and together, we can be so much more than we can be on our own.
- Interact with Your Dreams – If we truly set aside even fifteen minutes each day toward something we really wanted to do, we would see amazing progress. I am guilty of thinking that if I can’t spend a good, solid chunk of time doing something, I might as well not do it at all. This means I rarely find time to work toward my own dreams. More would be accomplished in fifteen minutes a day than would be in three hours a month! Also, when we find time to interact with our dreams, we maintain hope. We can see that every single day we make another step in the direction of our dream. We are able to rise above the parts of our life where we feel “stuck” and we’re able to focus on how we’re moving out of that place.
At the end of each day, I’ve been asking myself: Have I interacted with God, other people, and my dreams? I find that each day I’ve done all three, I’ve had a happy, productive day.
Do you agree with these steps? In what ways do you fulfill each one of these steps? Is there one you could focus on improving?