Carter Lowe Creator, entrepreneur, and self-care advocate
Reading time: 8 min

What do you really want

Imagine yourself at your peak. Describe the day that you would live if you had absolute freedom, unlimited means and all the powers and skills that you only dreamed of.

My perfect day

Grab a pen and enough paper (or a voice recorder if you prefer to daydream out loud), take a leisurely walk through your perfect day in your ordinary life. This should not be a day of vacation, not a day with forced classes, but such everyday life as you would like it to be.

Live this day in the present tense and in full detail, from waking up in the morning to going to bed in the evening. What is the first thing you do when you wake up? What do you eat for breakfast? Do you make it yourself, or is it brought to you in bed with a rose and a morning paper? Do you take long hot baths? Or do you prefer an invigorating cold shower? What clothes do you wear? How do you spend your morning? Day? Are you at home or outside during different parts of the day? Calm or active? Alone or in company?

As you slowly live your imaginary day, keep in mind the three essential categories: what, where, and who. What are you doing? What work are you doing, what game? Imagine yourself at your peak. If you want to sing or steer a ship but don't know how to do it, then you can do it all in this fantasy.

Where? In what place, space, setting? In an apartment in the city, in the countryside, in Los Angeles, in London, in a well-equipped workshop, in an elegant hotel room, on a houseboat?

With whom do you work, eat, laugh and talk, sleep? You will undoubtedly want to fit real people close to you into the fantasy. You can also include people you would like to see around: writers, musicians, children, people your age, people of all ages, athletes, French people, financiers, ordinary villagers, celebrities.

Unleash your imagination in the same way as you did in the ideal environment exercise. Don't write what you think is possible! Describe the day you would live if you had absolute freedom, unlimited means, and all the powers and skills you could ever dream of.

For example, Mary, 32, writer, describes her ideal day: “I get up at six in the morning. I live in a small town in Spain, in a cool, spacious adobe house with Navajo rugs on the floor and red pepper garlands hanging from the ceiling beams. I get out of bed without disturbing either my husband or the three cats that are still sleeping on and near him. I'm going to the stable. Two beautiful Persian Salukis are running around me. I feed the Arabian horse and release it to the pasture. Then I have a run in the fresh morning air.

I return, drink coffee and have breakfast with my husband. At seven in the morning I go to my office with a large wooden desk with a wide top and a bunch of drawers. In front of me is a large window overlooking the mountains. I write until noon, sometimes two or three hours longer if I want to. I write what I myself want - no deadlines, volume restrictions and editorial requirements. It's finished. I have a good reputation and a modest capital, on which the bank charges interest. I have my own piece of land with a garden. I write for myself and for friends, and if someone wants to publish it, that would be great.

It is very important for me to receive many letters from friends from all over the country and even from all over the world! At lunchtime, I meet a friend in the city, spend about an hour in a bookstore. In the afternoon I practice guitar and write songs. Or I type my friend’s book on an old manual printing press while bread is being baked in the oven, and Bach is playing from the speakers. Before sunset, I ride a horse, but very carefully, because I'm expecting a baby!

Friends - writers, carpenters, teachers, potters, farmers and their children - come to us for a dinner that my husband cooked. After dinner I play the guitar, we sing, laugh and chat by the fireplace. When the guests leave, we read for a couple of hours, walk the dogs by the light of the stars, and go to bed.”

Fantasy Analysis: Going Back to Basics

Now let's find out what was the most important of all this. Let's find out what.

Question #1. What exactly are the elements of a perfect day in each of the what, who, and where sections that are so essential to your happiness that there is no substitute for them? Without what will you always be dissatisfied, what will you yearn for?

Question No. 2. What is optional, but would still be very desirable?

Question #3. What is really just pampering? It would be nice to have it, but can you do without it?

Here is how Mary described what she really needs:

Necessary

What: write

listen to music

physical activity

animals

Where: a personal office with a large table

a spacious place to live

Who: my husband

many friends both near and far

Optional, but desirable

What: learn to play the guitar

Where: live in a beautiful countryside near a vibrant city with a rich cultural life

Who: a child (it may sound strange, but I will be happy without children, although I would like to have one!)

Pampering

What: a horse

printing press

Where: own adobe house

in a small town in Spain

(It would be great to have all this, but I will be fine without it.)

That doesn't mean you shouldn't have it! We're just prioritizing what you can't live without, what you need to bring into your life in the first place in order to get the source of energy that will allow you to achieve the rest.

Mary, for example, determined that writing was most important to her. If she does not have time and space to write, no guitar will console her. In fact, she doesn't even want to play. But if everything gets better with her writing and life, then the strength and confidence will themselves flow into the category of “optional, but desirable.” Her horizons will begin to expand, like circles that diverge from the happiness placed in the center.

And yours too.

Question #4. What will change if you go through the edited ideal day, consisting only of the essentials?

On the other hand, Mary described the new option as follows:

“I live in Atlanta, the same place as now, but in a larger apartment. I get up early, have coffee with my husband, feed the cats, and go to my office, which is a few blocks from our house. This is the room I rented on the top floor with windows overlooking the lovely courtyard. I write until noon or longer if I want to. Then I look through the mail and go to the sports club, train and swim. The rest of the day is basically the same: having lunch with a friend… spending time in a bookstore… baking bread… listening to music… having dinner with friends. Let's just put away the house, the horse, the printing press and the guitar for a while."

After tweaking your ideal day, answer three even more important questions.

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Question #5. Which of the ingredients for a perfect day do you already have, if any?

Few of us are completely dissatisfied with the present state of affairs. Some of your desires and dreams have already been able to make their way into reality. This question will clarify that your life has already worked out the way it should. You will understand what sources of satisfaction you already have. This will become a reliable foundation and source of energy at the beginning of your journey. Being aware of what you already have will help identify what you are unhappy with, the subject of the next question.

Question #6. What elements of a perfect day are missing in your life? Use the “what”, “where”, “who” categories to understand what exactly is missing.

Question #7. What separates your tomorrow from your adjusted ideal day? What needs to be done to get the missing items? What difficulties and obstacles are preventing you from getting them right now?

You find that you know what your ideal day should look like, as clearly as what clothes you want to see in your closet. Now is the time to start turning your fantasies and style into something you can actually get.

Based on the materials of the book “Dreaming is not harmful”