One Perfect Day Mk. 2

I wake up, alone. The room is dark. No light creeps in and no noises disturb the darkness because not even the animals roam or call at this hour.

As I lay there, my mind working to orientate itself with the reality before it, my body starts to come alive.

My finger move, my toes wriggle, my shoulders fall back into their sockets and my neck starts to roll back and forward to get the blood moving.

As soon as my brain has accustomed itself to the new day, I roll out of bed and make my way to the office.

The room is lit by a small desk lamp that’s poised on the short bookcase next to the entrance.

On the wall is a large whiteboard with todays goals written in large blue letters in a big white box. They’re there because last night, as I finished my day, I planned and filled my new day with everything that had to be done.

Calls, meetings, planning, everything that goes into pushing this company forward.

I run my mind through my day – priority 1, priority 2, etc… – then head to the kitchen for breakfast.

My breakfast sits in a small saucepan in the fridge, waiting for me in the exact spot I left it last night. It’s chicken soup filled with vegetables, meat, eggs, and a little bit of rice.

As it heats up on the stove, I down a litre of water, a few vitamins, and keep thinking over my day:

  • What is going to make the biggest difference to my life today?
  • What’s the most important task I can cross off my list?
  • What am I the most resistant to doing?
  • How long will it all take?
  • When will I take breaks and what will I do on those breaks?

Breakfast is ready.

I empty the pot into a bowl and take it back to my office. I slide in under the large wooden desk and start to eat.

After thinking over the day, I rearrange three tasks and push the most difficult and frustrating to the top of the list.

With the meal down and the day arranged, I head to the yoga room to meditate.

Meditation done, it’s back to the desk to start work.

Work is empowering. I smash through the most difficult tasks at the start of the day and by the time I have to leave for the office at 8:30, I already feel like I’ve accomplished something significant.

I run to the office. It takes 2o minutes.

Even though it’s 9am, the office is busy. The coaches are in the client meeting rooms either chatting in person with the clients or over Skype. The marketing team is going over the yesterday’s statistics and working out where to go next, the community managers are busy drumming up activities and adventures, the event production team is sitting in the meeting room waiting for me so we can start the meeting.

Claire greets me at the as I stand there surveying the room “You plan on doing anything today or are you just going to make everyone around you feel uncomfortable by staring at them whilst they work?”

“Well, they’re not going to feel uncomfortable by themselves, are they??” I shoot back.

“You were right at the back of the line when they were giving out X Man powers, weren’t you?”

“Yeah, I think I was the last person in the queue before they handed you the power of jealousy… It’s ok, you don’t have to pretend like you don’t care. We’re all friends here and you’re in the circle of trust. We can be honest with each other.” I put my arm around her and pull her in tight as I apply cold water to the BURN!

“I still don’t know why I come in here every day… Here are your reports. I hope everything’s crashed and you’re forced to live in a cardboard box by the side o the road, begging for money from strangers so you can afford to buy one meal a week.” She turns her back and walks towards the two Men who’ve just entered the office.

As she does, the clock ticks past 9am and we all get together for the morning meeting.

It’s our ‘Standing meeting’ – no sitting because there’s no point. The meeting is 10 minutes to make sure everyone is clearly focussed on the big picture, knows what they’re doing and how it contributes to our goals, who they need to work with, and what has to be done to make sure we’re closer to our objectives by the end of the day than we were when we started this morning.

8 1/2 minutes later, the meeting is complete.

The marketing manager and I chat quickly to decide the best way to move forward with the stats that came through last night before he heads back to his team.

I make my way across the office, through the desks, couches, and staff all moving around with purpose and direction, to the meeting room on the far side where the event production team are waiting.

The next conference is running in 4 weeks and we’re in the process of locking down all the suppliers and providers for the event. With over 280 guys in the middle of the bush for 5 days, it takes some organising. There’s food, transport, water, accommodation, toilets, medical, speakers, entertainers, and then all the exercises and activities. Lots of moving parts to lock into place to make this the best event to date.

It’s our second for the year. The first one – in the cool spring air of late October – was big. It was only 35 guys but 12 days in the bush confronting each others limitations is a challenging experience for anyone.

This one is focussed less on gaining depth and insight and more on forming powerful connections with incredible people.

As we work through the list, we make some big decisions, work out some complex issues, and put a lot of issues to bed. An hour later, as we wrap up the meeting, it’s clear that things are on the way.

The team is an incredible bunch of guys who each excel in their chosen field and together, the make an incredible team.

But this isn’t just true for the event team. It’s true for the whole company. Incredible people doing incredible things and making a real difference to the lives of thousands all over the world.

2 more meetings round out the day and then it’s time to leave. The second draft of my new book is due at the publishers on a week and writing in the office – with all the distractions, noise, and questions – just isn’t productive.

I grab my laptop, the notated version of the book, and my water bottle jump in the car. 45 minutes down the road, out of the city and out of civilisation, at the site of the next conference is my preferred writing location.

It’s a small shack, built of local timber and stones, capped with corrugated iron sheets, perched on the crest of a ridge overlooking the valley floor. From there, I can watch the river meander through the plains as the rising and setting sun paint it’s waters every shade of warmth.

I sit and write and write and write till I can’t write any more. I finish the day by planning the next – goals, targets, priorities and objectives.

The sun starts to set before packing up and walking down to the stream.

As I plunge through the still surface into the deep wading pool, the cold shock gets me out of my head and into my body. Thoughts about the day start to fade away and I become present to the beauty around me.

I flow through the water letting the thoughts and mental chatter float away till the first rays of the sun start to dip below the western wall of the valley.

Then it’s time for home.

The car ride is beautiful – no traffic, no noise, straight roads and smooth sailing. This car is a thing of beauty. Each part of it has been deliberately crafted by a skilled and experienced artist; designed solely to achieve a level of perfection never created by accident.

As I walk through the doors and place my bag in the entranceway, my children run to greet me “Dad! Dad! Guess what we’re having for dinner tonight!”

I scoop up my son and daughter, one under each arm, and make my way to the kitchen.

“Ummm… Is it frogs legs and rats tails?”

“No! Eww… Guess again!”

“Oh, wow. I thought that was it for sure! How about dog hair and cats toe nails? Is it Thursday again?”

“No! Not even close! Try again…”

Two more steps and I round the kitchen doorway to see my beautiful wife standing at the bench.

“Hello my love.” She smiles at me with love in her eyes. “I didn’t hear you leave this morning. You must have gone early…”

“Too early for you. Late by normal human standards.” I smile as she slaps me.

“Maria’s made Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad for dinner tonight. The kids helped her do it.”

“I chose the carrots!” “I mixed the marinade!” shout the kids, desperate for to join in the moment.

“Well aren’t you two clever! Show me the carrots you chose.”

We talk and laugh in the kitchen till the meat comes off the grill and we all eat at the table together.

“My day was… The venue is… You sound happy… I mixed this… My teacher said… We drew giant pictures…” All in a day.

“Which book are we going to read tonight?” I ask without really needing to wait for the answer.

We put the kids to bed and reconvene on the couch to laugh and play and connect.

“Are you sleeping in our bed tonight?” She asks with quiet curiosity.

“Tonight, yes. It would be nice to fall asleep next to you tonight.”

We laugh some more, talk about the past and the future, before I stand, take her hand in mind, and lead her to our bedroom.

We finish the night intertwined in heated passion before slipping into pleasant dreams.