“If money wasn’t a problem, what would your days be like?”
“If money wasn’t an issue, what would you be doing?”
Cheesy questions like these proliferate online and pour from life coaches mouths everywhere, but what does it really mean?
Should you give wings to your imagination and release your wildest dreams? Full-time vacations? World traveling? Luxury cars and private planes? Bikini models and champagne?
Would that really be enough? What about relationships and a sense of purpose?
What about challenges and achievements? Authority and social recognition?
What about love?
We can easily fall into the trap of going for material stuff on our first thoughts, but I’m sure that other priorities arise when we think deeper on the question.
Do you know what are the common regrets of people near their deathbed? Hint: it’s not “lack of champagne!”
Sure, exotic beaches and private jets are nice (I guess…), but would we really want to spend our days like that… like, forever?
I mean, yeah, that would be fun for a week or two, but then what? What would be the point of our existence? Collecting tiny bottles of sand from beaches around the world?
I’m sure that after a little reflexion your luxury ideas would come down a bit and more meaningful questions would arise.
So, on a second level answering, I would drop the jets and champagne and would choose more time.
Time is really our most valuable asset. Time is the ultimate currency and, incomprehensibly, the one that we usually trade off for less.
So my perfect day would have less luxury stuff and a lot more time.
Time to spend doing things I like, such as reading and going for walks with my family. Hey, we can even go to the beach, it’s not an exotic one, but it’s 3 minutes away from our home and we don’t take advantage of that as we should.
Time to do work that excites me, like writing.
Time to go to the gym and drop the excuses for being out of shape.
Time to think about important questions that could use a decent answer.
That would be a good day, a really good day.
And you know what? That’s perfectly doable, money is really not a problem for that perfect day!
This is a reasonable dream. I decided to call this the “perfect doable day”.
Yeah, but I still have bills to pay and need to put food on the table, so how can I have a taste of that perfect doable day without getting evicted or eating only pasta for the next 6 months?
Well, you can have a test-drive!
When we’re thinking about buying a new car we go for a test-drive, so let’s replicate the same concept with our dream life and try out what a perfect doable day could look like and decide if that model suits us.
To do this I took a 1-week vacation from my 9-to-5.
Well, 9-to-5:30 to be more accurate (or to-6 or to-7… it’s Europe, we work longer but have more vacations, and let’s skip the “productivity” debate for now…).
This vacation week was my test-drive for the perfect doable day I believe I want.
So, what did my days look like?
I woke up around 6:30 a.m., have 2 glasses of water and go to the gym. No breakfast because I’m experimenting with intermittent fasting.
I’m back home around 8:00 a.m. and help to prepare breakfast and lunch for my son to take to kindergarten.
I left the kid at school around 9:00 a.m. and went to have a coffee with my girlfriend.
Around 9:30 a.m. she goes to work and I go to a café and start working.
I work until 01:30 p.m., which includes research, reading, answering comments and actual writing, and then go have lunch.
On the early afternoon, I do some chores at home with my girlfriend and around 4:00 p.m. we go pick our son up from school and head to the park or to the beach to play for a while and get some vitamin D.
After a couple of hours, we go home, prepare dinner, bade the kid, play a little bit with him and maybe watch some Netflix after he’s in bed.
Around 10.00 p.m. I go check a few things online, read some articles on Medium, engage with readers and other writers and at 11.00 p.m. I’m in bed, with my gym bag already prepared for the next morning.
It’s a pretty normal day, in a pretty normal place, but you know what? If I had to live it every day I would be truly happy.
Obviously, there is a tweak to do here and there, because there’s always room for improvement, and eventually shit happens and if we can’t throw money at the problem… well, then money becomes a problem after all, but that’s life.
This experience made me realize that a perfect doable day is not very hard to achieve, it all comes down to the ability to generate enough money from my writing to replace my job’s salary.
I’m still far from that, but this test-drive showed me that I love to do this consistently and my productivity skyrocketed and my stats did pretty well too, so this is definitely an option for my future, or even better, a goal to work for.
My advice for you is that you check your dreams, come up with a doable perfect day, it doesn’t have to be as simple as mine, or it can be even simpler, it’s up to you.
Just think about what’s really important for you and try to do a test-drive to it, chances are that you’ll be surprised about how feasible it can be.
Or you may realize that you were wrong and that you didn’t like your experiences that much and if that’s the case it’s useful as well because that means you can stop wasting energy going in that direction and choose a better path.
Try it, test it, see what you like and what works for you and fight for that perfect doable day, and once you achieve it, you can always try to improve it and make it even better.
Never settle for mediocrity, always aspire for progress and work to reach your full potential.