Step 1. Today begins yesterday.
What you do today, affects tomorrow, more than anything else. So, having a fantastic day today, began yesterday. Now, there's lots of ways to overcome the misdeeds and forgotten promises of yesterday. You can even take a pill or try running it off. But, eventually - compensation kills us.
Waking up to a fantastic day needs to grow out of yesterday, rather than be compensation for it. So, the rest of these steps in having a fantastic day today, also ensure you “had a fantastic day, yesterday" and yesterday depends on the day before that. So I think you can get the drift here. Do today not what is best for today, but what is great for tomorrow.
It takes around 6 weeks to embed a new habit. Exercises are only temporary measures until habits set in. So, the other 14 steps that follow, are temporary knowledge. Eventually they'll become habits.
Step 2. Sleep. The Sound of Silence.
I've seen people spend half their life in ashrams, running around naked on beaches in Byron Bay, bending over backwards in Yoga, chanting up a storm in a church, eating organic vegies, fighting for human rights. All of which is their attempt to “have a great day"
But most of them couldn't sleep well. And therefore, their day, their job, their love was always a struggle. I want you to hear this really, really, really loud. Nothing is more important to your achievements in life than the ability to do nothing.
The only thing that blocks sleep is your ego. That's not a criticism of the ego; without it we have no money, no relationship, no health, no job. So, please don't think this is ego bashing. Ego is as spiritual as everything else on earth.
But, yes, there's a but, the ego has to die to life. It is not the whole reality of life. If we get so confused between our ego and our spirit that we can't separate them, then stress, worry, sadness, poverty, lack of love will become a screen through which we see our day. So, the ego, at night, and several moments throughout the day as a minimum must rest.
To rest the ego is easy. Maybe that is a new habit, but right here, right here and now I'll show you how to practice that. Ready?
To rest the ego you have to practice trust.
The only reason we live through our ego is to make life safe. We use it to sort of “force" our way through life. We use our ego to “get what we want" and if we don't use it, we end up poor, alone, and naked. Ego collects things, holds them, nurtures them, supports them and discards them when we are finished. Ego is the material world.
The only reason we “want" is because we don't trust that it'll be “given" to us. So, to fall asleep at night you have to “trust" that everything is going to be fantastic. Of course, the ego never thinks things are going to be fantastic unless it is involved. It is the maker, the constructor, the thinker, the carer. So, to fall asleep - I mean good fantastic restful sleep at the deepest level, then you have to stop wanting and trust.
If you stop wanting and trust during the day, you'll end up on the street begging. So, there's a time and a place. To “trust" is to rest. All religions and faiths, and spirituality tries to give their followers trust. They call it faith. That's another great word for sleep quality, faith. Faith comes from the ego, but it is a restful ego that has faith.
So, that's the second step to a fantastic day. Practice “trust" or “faith" in order to separate your ego from your spirit. Remembering that your ego never sleeps, it can only be placated for the night.
Early to bed and early to rise is the sequence that suits the ego.
Ps dreams are of the ego. Dreams in the early night are unfinished ego business of the day. Dreams in the middle of the night are long term unfinished ego business. Dreams in the early morning are ambitions of the ego. And as you know, when you dream allot, you don't feel rested. The ego didn't feel safe.
Step 3. Eat to love, not love to eat.
My chiropractor friend John Demartini claims that 90% of back problems in the morning come from a full belly at night. That's just the beginning of the issue of food, rest and day-life.
What we eat today becomes us tomorrow. So, red meat makes us aggressive. Milk makes us mothering. Pork makes us stupid. Bread makes us dull. Apples make us clean. Mangoes make us fired up. Bananas make us enthusiastic. Salt is not a food. Oil makes us flexible. Alcohol makes us dry. Coffee makes us bitter. Chocolate makes us want for love.
Now if you believe all that, you are as dumb as the rest of the new age world. Each person is different, each body is different and each constitution is different. There is different pork too. Good and bad. So, please lets start respecting that there are no panacea to say what is good and bad. Except.
If your poop is like a brick and sinks in the bowl you got problems and cancer is a close candidate. If your poop hits the sides of the bowl without touching the water, you are totally starving your body of nutrient. If you are fat then there's too much fat in your diet 6-40g per day needed. If you are skinny, the joy of love might be hard to hold.
All this aside, it is equally important to focus on how, when and where you eat as it is on what.
Don't run through the city eating a sandwich - it's ugly, poor health and is disrespectful for your body.
Don't combine more than 5 different foods at one sitting
Don't eat within 4 hours of sleep - dry biscuits are great alternatives.
Don't eat more than the equivalent of a clenched fist (yours) of food in one sitting.
Eat 5 times a day and make sure protein is the essence of that eating.
Avoid things that quench your appetite without providing nourishment.
Eat to your lifestyle. A big breakfast might be great for a brick layer, but an office worker will be sleeping by 11.00am with too much food for breakfast.
A big lunch needs a big rest afterward.
Something bitter, like a pickle or salad before big meals helps digestion.
Step 4. A plan.
Of all the thousands of great ideas about having a fantastic day, this next one is the most commonly used by the most successful people I have consulted to. This includes; movie starts, rock stars, business leaders, reformed drug addicts, politicians, entrepreneurs and artists. Are you ready for it?
To a person, every single successful person I have worked with has a note book of some sort in which they plan tomorrow. Why is this so important?
Well, because people who believe they are worthy of success, and who think they are really worthy of having a fantastic day - everyday day, don't leave that up to chance.
So, for example; they have people they love working around them. They have professional people working for them. They don't work with people they dislike. So, they are always planning tomorrow so that it is filled with fabulous things to do.
In contrast I also consult to allot of people who consider themselves losers. Nearly every single one of them has a vision plan, written down as a result of some seminar they did ten years ago. They have great dreams but a crappy reality. Of course, a few months consumed in a crappy reality is going to cause devastating ego issues and ultimately sabotage the long term.
So, back to those lists. Before you go to your bed, “think this question" - what do I have planned for tomorrow? If the answer is “same old same old" or “got to solve those bloody problems" or “I have to go and work in that crappy job" then know that you are treating yourself like a loser. You do have choice.
1/ First choice is that you can find something fantastic in something terrible. That's a mind game so be careful it's not just trickery. But you can actually go to a job you don't like with a different approach that “yuk" - you can find things to love about it, or funny parts of it. A sense of humour can cure allot of dark thinking.
2/ Second choice is that you can change it. Just know that the building blocks of a great life are great days. Miserable, “oh same old same old" plans for tomorrow make you a “sad sack" and people are going to treat you like you treat yourself. A punching bag for their emotional overload.
3/ The third choice is that you can, in the most extreme situations drop into your spirit and trust that just because the ego doesn't see daylight, doesn't mean there isn't any. You can trust that the challenge has a deeper beauty than what you first see. Now, this is fine, but don't do it everyday - it becomes a habit of excusing all the dirt because there's a deeper meaning. You end up hating yourself.
So step four is always think ahead about tomorrow. Is it going to be a great day? And if not, what can you inject into it to make it great. It's called “Design-A-Day" Design your next day as something to look forward to. If you did that right yesterday then today is great, so you won't be looking to “have a better day tomorrow"
Step 5. Don't look back.
Now, I am writing this article for you. It must sound like I am doing everything I am writing. It must come across like my life is totally paradise. And I am having fantastic days. Well that is only half right.
I've got arthritic fingers from millions of hammers on this keyboard sitting in cold places writing books that no one read. So, I could look back and get really pissed. And there's other things too. So, life is a work in progress. So, in my life I have to keep processing the past in order to allow myself to turn up, and have a fantastic day today. And it's never finished. So, I don't go digging for stuff to process.
The most powerful key to having a great day is never look back and there is only one “honest" way to achieve that. You have to be thankful for the past.
When I say “don't look back" people turn their heads and start focussing on what they want. Their ego gets the reins and off they run thinking “right, Walker told me not to look back so I will look ahead and keep my focus on what is coming next" - but that's not it.
Don't look back means don't have regrets. The past makes us so, if we blindside the past it might be blocked from our thoughts, but it is actually causing the present.
All the unfinished business of yesteryear, is haunting us like a ghost. Buddhist call it Karma, Christians call it “The wrath of God" - and I don't know what Jewish people call it, “vengeance or something" and Moslem's I have even less knowledge. The key is, that everyone acknowledges that what we did affects what we do.
In the laws of nature, the same thing. What they propose is that under the ego, there is no “I" there is just a we. So, what we do to others we do to ourselves. Like a circle of thought, what we put out, comes back. No matter how you word it, the bottom line is that “unfinished business" from the past, corrupts our capacity to have a fantastic day today.
How you really get to “don't look back" is that you say thanks for it. The past is spiritual. No value was ever had giving the ego control over the past. So, we need to “trust" that the past was what was meant to be. The key to achieving that, as already proposed, is to be thankful for it.
Anything in the past that you can't be thankful for runs your life.
Anything in the past that I can't be thankful for, runs my life.
Repeat that 300 times.
And while you are repeating it, flash back to your childhood, or to a past relationship, or to a situation in your past. Think of people, places and things that were important milestones, and check, “am I thankful" - If not, then there's sabotage in your system and the “fantastic day" is being corrupted. Ego is holding.
Getting thankful for the past is spiritual stuff. Because the past has happened, there's nothing you can do to change it. After you go through disbelief, denial and then anger about the past experience, finally there's an honesty. It happened. Then, the only course of action is the deal with it so it doesn't pollute your day.
Sometimes this needs an intervention by someone who can decipher the blessing of that past. Sometimes you can quickly do it for yourself. The acid test is ‘do you fear it happening again?" if the answer is yes, it's still stuck in your ego.
To round this off, finish everyday with a thank-you for everything that happened in the day. It's the best prayer at night for kids to sit or kneel and say “thank you for . . . . . . " instead of chanting some wish for forgiveness. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Step 6. Have a reason for living bigger than life itself
For many people this sounds a bit fluffy. They like the idea of “being happy" as the most important thing in their day. Me too. However, after a bunch of bungled attempts at that strategy I've come to a better way, one that actually works.
I found that what I get from life makes me happy for a while but what I give in life makes me happy. So, if I feel like what I am doing right now is good for me, I am happy, for a while. But as soon as I stop, then I am needing something else to make me happy. So, I think this running from happy make me - happy make me - is what causes addictions and emotional instability.
Happy make you doesn't work either because you might be a “happy make me person" then, I am valuable for a few minutes while I make you happy, then, well if I don't keep you happy you are either sad, or bored, and what then?
I avoid branding people, but the net result of most devotion to Anthony Robins is an obsession with “make me happy" That idea didn't work for me, my standards are different.
However, I found that by having a sense of purpose in life and as long as I can link whatever I am doing to that purpose, I feel, content. And given than “our purpose" is about giving to others, then it's a great model for a “fantastic day" - link our activities to our purpose.
It gives life a bigger meaning and therefore puts things in a different context. I have met clients who are so emotionally fragile, always looking for compliments, absolutely taking everything personally. It's not because they are bad or messed up, it's because the only motive they can find for life is their own happiness.
I also have clients who work in child care, orphanages in third world countries. These people are also fragile just like the first group, however, the fact that they have selfishly found a way to give to others and therefore find a bigger sense of their life context, they are content, happy because that giving is an awesome energy.
Now we need to be conscious here. The person who goes out in the world seeking approval and self happiness from their day, might just be the perfect partner. They get all day, and give all night. Whereas, the aid worker or the healer might give all day and want to “get" all night.
We must remember that there are two sides to everyone. A public and a private. Whatever a person does in extreme in public, they reverse in private. That's how you can tell those little old ladies with Victorian embroidered collars on their white shirts under their jumper going to church, are total sex maniacs when they get home!
So, back to the topic at hand. One part of us seeks to get happy, the other part of us seeks to give happy. Our ego does both because it feels good either way. The thing about giving happy is that you can turn any disaster into a victory by thinking; “who did I just make happy?" but you can't turn a disaster into a victory by thinking, “I'm not really unhappy"
So, learn to give in order to be more happy. The best way is to measure your life by what you gave rather than what you've got. Ultimately you are going to die so what you've got “isn't really worth anything", eventually.
Step 7. Approach - no - attack the day ahead.
It is a sad confession that I make that I have spent the night with a few people. Yes, ok, so I've been normal. Shoot me for it! Anyways, the thankfulness of that is that I've got to witness quite a number of wake up rituals, and noticed how mine change when I woke up alone or with someone.
The bottom line is that those first few minutes when we come back to consciousness from sleep, are very, very important to our health. As a child I used to stay with my Nanna. I loved it. We would all be still up playing while dear old Nanna was already knitting in bed. She loved knitting in bed and always fell asleep with those dangerous needles and half her nights knitting unravelled on her lap. But, when the cock crowed in the mornings Nanna was already up, out in her garden getting rid of snails from the cabbages, collecting a few eggs for breakfast.
She would have set the table, made the bread, whipped the eggs and probably had a cuppa before the sun came up. Nanna died. She was 94 and she only died because someone in her family stole her money and house and broke her heart. Dear Nanna, she knew how to get up in the morning. Lucky for her that her husband died 50 years prior so there weren't many temptations to do otherwise. And from what I have heard, he was an ass anyway, so that's probably where she got the habit.
Bounce out of bed in the morning. You can do it. Then a little stretch, go make the tea, brighten your heart deliberately and if other sleepy heads are still in the bed, bring them a nice hot cuppa or something.
Step 8. Life is a miracle. See it and smile
Now, this is a bit of unapologetic self promotion and given the self revelation in the last point, I can do it. The laws of nature are important because they let you laugh more. So learning them is important.
You see, some people don't like the news because it's always a surprise to them that the world is like it is. That is because some people think that the way want the world to be, is how it should be. This is mild depression.
Severe depression is absolute shock when the world is what it is. So, if you can read the paper, watch the news and go, “Oh, yeah, that's the laws of nature at work" then what could cause depression, sadness or disappointment? Really think about it. If you know how something works then what could be a disappointment?
If I had a car, which I don't, I would know that if I don't put petrol in it, then it will conk out. If I don't put water in the water thing, then it will dry up and die. So, I know how a car works and the only thing that could be a surprise would be my own incapacity to remember such trivial matters as “put petrol in car"
Then if I also know that too much mind noise causes forgetfulness, too much salad causes ungroundedness, too much alcohol blocks clear thinking, and worry causes us not to turn up, then when I “forget" to put petrol in the car, I know why, and therefore don't get a surprise there either.
The laws of nature are universal. So, if you know a universal law, you know how everything works, even a computer if you choose to apply them. So, health, wealth, love, life, business all works on the same laws. Universal ones. Stars work on those laws too and so do cancer cells. So, you see, wisdom of this nature can be very precious. You can get those laws by buying all my books. . . sorry.
Step 9. Don't take the Stuff. . .
When you are talking to another person and they use the word “YOU" duck. Our skills as western communicators are terrible. We prefer to say “you" when we should say “I" and we prefer to say “I" when we should say “you. "
Positive words need to be directed at “I" and “you"
Negative words are best not included with the word “you"
When someone you are speaking to, uses the word “you" and a negative word in the same sentence, reject it somehow.
However, don't reject it by saying “You" and a negative word in the same sentence like “you just insulted me" or “you are too judgemental" this is like putting pepper on a cats nose.
It is wise to have a non violent strategy to deal with other people's downloads. For the vast majority of people, they won't sleep tonight if they don't blame you or someone else for their woes. So, in order to rest and get a good night sleep they dump on you.
Some people are good at being dumped on. They seem to be like a sponge for it, or some others it just goes right over their head. I'm a mixture of both, but I try to be the latter as much as possible.
We're all vulnerable to people dumping on us. However, when we put that person on some sort of pedestal, then their dumping gains momentum. They're doing it from a “high place" and it hits harder. So, the more somebody's words hurt, the more you put them on a pedestal.
Putting people on pedestals only comes from wanting to be on one ourselves. If we put others up on pedestals on the outside, then we are already on one within ourselves. So, hypersensitivity is egoism. Self aggrandisement on the inside, self depletion on the outside. Neither is healthy.
There are two important things to avoid in order that you don't start this paper chase of pedestal putting. First, separate your work from you. That's at a spiritual level. You have to know that you are lovable even if you don't work or talk or have any opinions at all. You can just be a vegetable and you are still as lovable as the next bloke, woman, person.
The second thing to avoid is trying to be right.
There is no right. Sometimes if you go left it's right. But right is not always right, sometimes it's the only choice that's left. So, if left is right and right is right, then surely being right is only half the answer. Maybe the if you go left it's right around the corner from being right, or if right is the only choice left, then left is right only if you can't take the right.
Religious people always want to be right. “My way is Gods way" I think in our lifetime we'll see this change.
Church attendances are dropping and the “my way or the highway" recruiting drive is failing. For commercial reasons alone, religions are shifting, except the Catholic one which just added 7 new sins to the list. Religious fanaticism is still the loudest voice on earth. It throws more bombs, abuses human rights more, invades more countries, holds up more scientific research, and injects itself into more homes than any other thing.
However, it is the minority, and in spite of this minority having the loudest voice, it will evolve, eventually. So, avoid being right if you want to evolve and have a fantastic day.
Step 10. If you are going to do something - enjoy it.
I live near a huge park. It's a place for people to go and do their daily exercise. What I love most is to see people doing their training and laughing at the same time. The personal trainers who are really good at their jobs, get their little groups motivated but enjoying themselves, all at the same time. The reason is; if the clients don't enjoy their time, they wont come back.
Then there's the hardy people in the park. Running and puffing and frowning. I doubt they are really doing themselves much good.
I went out with a friend last week and we had a nice meal and a glass of wine. She's a yogini and lives a really strict lifestyle but every now and then she has a wine with her lunch. It's great, she gets tipsy after half a glass. She does this lunch thing every now and then but always on a Friday, because she doesn't teach on the Saturday. Therefore, if she feels a bit off colour after the wine, she doesn't regret it the next day. She can enjoy herself.
Everything we do has a consequence and we need to build that consequence into what we are doing. A bucket of ice cream might look tempting, but, if we are going to really enjoy it, we have to accept the “fat" and the cholesterol as a part of the fun.
That's how monks stop themselves from getting horny. They might see a beautiful woman and think “yum" and start to “enjoy" a forbidden fruit. Or at least the idea of it. So, they think of that person's colon. That's enough to bring you back to reality. They kill the temptation before it kills them.
So, when we do what we do, and we have a complete understanding of the consequence, and the consequence is fine, then, we can let go.
Grinding through work, grinding through music, grinding through the day is no way to cause this to be a fantastic day. And going to do something just because it is good for you, is not enough. It must be good for you AND it must be enjoyable. Otherwise, it's killing you.
http://www.chriswalker.com.au Chris Walker is a world leading change agent, an environmentalist and author of more than 20 books. Born and bred in Australia, he consults to people and organisations throughout the world on improved relationships, health and lifestyle through the application of the Universal laws of Nature. The result he offers is that we stay balanced, share loving relationships, work with passion, enjoy success, and live our personal truth. To learn more about Chris's work and journeys to Nepal, visit http://www.chriswalker.com.au - http://www.chriswalker.com.au