One Project: Envisioning my Best Day

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#LiveTheQuest Prompt 2:

What one small project can you define to start creating into your burning question? #oneproject

In this short video, Jeffrey Davis asks creatives and business artists to define one small project that will jumpstart a deep dive into a burning question that can guide them through the next three months.

My burning question is this:  What if, instead of being a collection of reactions to the things that have happened to me, I author my own life with the compassion, attention, and wonder with which I author my stories?

For me, this question is about taking control of my own destiny, captaining my own ship. It’s about owning this one crazy gorgeous life that I’m living every day, right here, right now.

This question feels so huge that I’ve been struggling with coming up with one small project to get me started. The struggle comes in part from realizing that authoring my own story means taking control of each part of it, one day at a time. And this involves scheduling.

I really wish I had some kind of drippy, oozy, slime-green font for that word. Italics just don’t do justice to the crawly feeling it gives me.

There’s a part of me that craves structure. I know that without some shape to my day, my week, my year, I’ll drift endlessly. But I chafe against the feeling of restriction it also implies.

For a couple of years, I worked as a professional organizer. During that time, I consulted with clients on time management as part of my work. I learned a lot of valuable and transferrable skills that I worked to apply to my own life, with some good results. I listed priorities, broke down the container of my day into segments, tried to balance my activities between my various goals. But something about it always felt artificial–a little off, like a piece of clothing that almost fits.

It’s taken me until now to realize what it was. My micromanaging of each day and its myriad tasks took into account what I needed to accomplish, but not who I really am and what I want from the big picture of life. The approach was all wrong for my schedule-resisting brain. My epiphany was the realization that what I need to do to take control of my life is not to divvy up each hour of every day, but to be visionary about it–to imagine my best day.

So that’s the project I’m embarking on to begin addressing my burning question. I’ve spent the morning with paper and brightly colored markers, with soul-soaring music and jasmine green tea, with a little dog curled up at my side, envisioning what my best day looks like.

I know that no day will be perfect. I don’t want them to be. But I do know that I’d rather fall short of my goal than aim too low. If any day is going to be a good one, then I should begin each one with my best day in mind.

Right now, this is what my best day looks like:

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A tall order, maybe. But why not aim high? Now comes the real work–figuring out how to shape my days so that every day has a chance to be its best.

What’s in your best day?

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10 thoughts on “One Project: Envisioning my Best Day

  1. That’s a very cool idea.
    I can tell you sunrise is not in mine. I mean, I do hope the sun will rise, but I just shouldn’t be up to see it!

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Jay! I really appreciate it. I’ve always been a night owl, but I do love a good sunrise, so we’ll see how I do with this part of it. 🙂

  2. I love how you did this!

    I had to reinvent to-do-lists for a similar reason. My to-do-list revamp is this. “Wanna” “Gotta” and “Oughta” those are the only 3 characters I use. Scheduled things go in gotta. Mandatory things like paying bills and buying food go in gotta.

    Oughta is a parking lot for the things I should do. That I’ll feel oh-so-accomplished if I do them, but really, nothing is going to stop the world from turning if I totally ignore that section of the list. Often, stuff on that list can scoot up into “Gotta” given enough time. Sometimes I do the stuff because I remember they are there. (So, showering goes in “gotta” but shaving my legs goes in “oughta” as an example.)

    Wanna is the meat of the list, and the biggest portion of the page. It’s writing and sewing and playing and “flopping” (translation: laying on the bed in the dark thinking about stories) and so on. 🙂 I shoot to get most of the wannas done, as well as most of the gottas. If it’s a good day, I don’t do a damned one of the oughtas.

  3. Wow Brenna, nice delineation there…to turn that schedule upside down by framing it in terms of you, your joyful self, in a visionary way. I love your list of joys…I share many of them. I know at some point no matter what plan I make, that I’ll be sort of eclipsed, but I don’t mind it so much when that happens if I start my day with tea and my journal. And some colored pencils. Then, no matter else what life sends me, I’ve taken care of someone very special first. Cheers to you warming your life with more of you joy.

  4. Brenna I so love this! Can I borrow it to use with clients? With attribution to you? If not that’s totally ok – I’ll enjoy following where you go with this. Angela – same to you. I love your idea and how you prioritize the wannas, oughtas and gottas. Wonderful.

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