What would your perfect day look like?

This is the question that was posed to me recently by a friend training to practice NLP (neuro-lingustic programming). It’s a simple enough question, but one that requires an answer in the kind of detail we rarely consider.

So, let’s try and answer this question. The perfect day inevitably starts with the interviewee waking up, in surroundings that are luxurious, but somewhat lacking in detail. This sets the tone for the rest of this imaginary day, with vague ideas on how well it would progress, who it would involve, what would be done, but little in the way of detail. This lack of detail on what we want, can be explained quite easily; we do not know what we want. It leads to us not achieving whatever abstract goals we may have set for ourselves. And the lack of attention to detail has the same effect in the way we go about our daily routines.

After a little thought, it is clear that this question is encouraging us to think about what we want, and describe it with detail and clarity, so as to focus the mind. It also encourages us to apply this way of thinking to our day-to-day activities, so we better understand what we are trying to achieve. When we know what we want in such detail that it can be recalled immediately and vividly, the mind actively produces an emotional response to the idea, much like remembering a happy memory will provide a happy emotion. Sports psychologists use similar methods, encouraging athletes to “visualise the win”, to produce an emotional response that stimulates the brain into providing a winning mentality, and giving them a psychological boost. When you can describe your ambition in minute detail, when you can see, taste, hear what that ambition feels like, you’ll be in the perfect frame of mind to accomplish it.

So, what would your perfect day look like?