Published on June 22, 2009
100 GREAT DAYS
What others are saying . . . “Your 100 [great] days idea and determining patterns of what contributes to those best days … has made me realize that I need to make some fundamental changes in my life to increase the number of days that could be possible candidates for that ‘best of’ list.” “I’ve had a pretty good life so far and lived over 15,000 days – why was it so hard to come up with 100 great ones?” “This is such an intriguing concept. I compared it to my husband’s list and it was eye-opening, to say the least.”
What’s this all about . . . ? 1) Concept 2) Purposes 3) Guidelines 4) Tips 5) Analysis 6) Next Steps 7) Conclusion
Concept . . . Given that . . . The average person lives +/- 25,000 days. What if . . . ? Just before your last breath, the powers that be allowed you to relive 100 great days of your life again exactly as each one had happened. List and analyze . . . When you have a chance during the next week or two, start a list of great days in your life and add to it as you think of them. Then use the questions provided in this presentation to help determine how successful your life has been in the past and what you might want to focus on to make it better in the future.
Purposes . . . This is a fun and easy way to evaluate your life — especially compared to rigorous self-assessment tests, tedious workshops, and expensive retreats. Take an enjoyable trip down memory lane and gain insights into what you value most and what sort of life you’ve lived. Identify patterns that might help you improve your future!
Guidelines . . . > If you can’t list 100 great days, that’s okay. Just list as many as you can. > A “day” can span two calendar days but not more than 24 consecutive hours. > You don’t have to name the specific day. Identifying the day as one within a general period (e.g., “One of the days I spent on the wilderness hike last summer.”) is usually sufficient. > There is no need to rank the 100 days in any particular order except by approximate year.
Tips . . . > The more details (e.g., where, who was involved, etc.) you can remember about the day the better. If you can’t remember much, perhaps it wasn’t one of the best after all. > Old photographs, videos, journals, diaries, scrapbooks, etc. are effective ways to jog your memory. > It is very important that you select your great days BEFORE you view the rest of this presentation. Doing otherwise might skew the results.
Analysis . . . Add 10 columns to the left of your Great Days list and based on the predominate ingredients for each day, categorize each day as follows: Column Heading: PEOPLE Column Heading: YEAR Indicate actual names or group Indicate the year the day occurred Column Heading: FOCUS Column Heading: PLACES Indicate “Self,” “Others” or “Both” Indicate actual names Column Heading: RESOURCES Column Heading: ORGANIZATIONS Indicate “$” or “Intangibles” Indicate actual names Column Heading: SPONTANEITY Column Heading: ACTIVITIES Indicate “Plan” or “No plan” Indicate type of activity Column Heading: TASK Column Heading: EVENTS Indicate “Work” or “Leisure” Indicate type of event
Analysis . . . Although most of the days are left out of this abbreviated example, the chart above still gives you an idea of what your chart might look like.
Analysis . . . Look at your Great Days and ask yourself the following questions: A) Did you have a difficult time coming up with more than a handful of great days? If so, you might need to make some significant changes in your life. The questions on the next few slides can help you determine where to focus. B) Are there a high number of days within a short span of years – or a particular season of the year? If so, what was it about that time span or that season that might have caused such a high frequency? Is there anything you should do to reproduce those or similar conditions again?
Analysis . . . C) Did most of your days tend to be centered around your desires or did they involve you giving to others? If you’re happy with your Great Days, you will want to maintain the ratio of “self” days to “others” days. If you’re not happy, it might be because you’ve had too many of one or the other.
Analysis . . . D) Was money or significant material possessions an essential element in most of your Great Days? If you’re happy with your Great Days, you will want to maintain the ratio of “money” days to “intangibles” days. If you’re not happy, it might be because you’ve had too many of one or the other.
Analysis . . . E) Do certain people, places, organizations, or specific events or activities keep showing up regularly in your list of Great Days? Depending on your level of satisfaction with your Great Days, you may want to consider reconnecting with key people, relocating to a particular place, or becoming more active in certain organizations.
Analysis . . . F) Would you say most of your Great Days revolved around a work-like activity or a leisure related one? If you’re happy with your Great Days, you will want to maintain the ratio of “work” days to “leisure” days. If you’re not happy, or had trouble coming up with days, it might be because there’s too much “work” in your life.
Analysis . . . F) Were most of your Great Days meticulously planned or were they primarily spontaneous? It’s surprising how many of our best moments are courtesy of serendipity. Meticulous planning creates expectations that are seldom truly met. You might want to try “going with the flow” more often to see if such a strategy improves and/or adds to your number of Great Days.
Next Steps . . . > Make changes! Strive to reproduce at least some of the patterns that helped produce your Great Days. > List your worst 25 days – if you can stand it. An analysis of the patterns within your list will confirm what you don’t like and may help you avoid negative places, people, and circumstances in the future.
Conclusion . . . Too often we race through the days, months, and years so quickly that we don’t stop to analyze our lives until it’s too late. Companies and organizations of all types periodically set aside time for assessing their successes and failures. This allows them to regroup, refocus, and rededicate themselves to more productive futures. If it’s a good strategy for them, it’s an even better one for us! Created by Kevin Struck, Terra Media, LLC June 2009
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