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“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

These beautiful words, from Mary Oliver’s poem, The Summer Day, makes me think about how I am living my day.

Without a doubt the demands of a normal day can often drive us off course in how we really want to live our life.  I try to attend Mass most Sunday's and leave feeling fired up for the week ahead only to lose steam somewhere around Tuesday afternoon. It's frustrating!

I recently finished the book Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith.  In his book, Goldsmith teaches a very simple process that helps keep him focused on what is important to him during the course of a busy day.  At the end of every day he holds himself accountable by reviewing a series of questions that reflect values and behavior that he wants to embrace.  Here are just five of his questions:

Did I do my best today to:

  • Be happy?
  • Find meaning?
  • Build positive relationships?
  • Set a clear goal?
  • Make progress toward goal achievement?

A few weeks ago I decided to employ this end of day examinen and I can honestly say it has helped me focus on what I want to do better with my life.  My questions are not Marshall's questions; they are my questions reflecting what I want to work on.

Did I do my best today to:

  • Not use foul language?
  • To pray before I begin my day?
  • To not talk negatively about anyone?
  • To catch someone doing something right?
  • To say something nice to my wife?
  • To have clear cut goals for the day in writing?

I have a few more on the list but you get the idea.

All of us struggle to be the best man or woman we can be.  You might want to give this approach a try.  It's simple and effective.  It's a great new habit to develop.


  1. Rachel Hamill says:

    Great questions to bring you back to center John! It is amazing how easily we can get of course and it takes some positive self affirmation to get us back on track!

  2. Chad Toms says:

    Thanks John for sharing.

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