“What is the most excellent thing I can do today?” – Neil Peart
It’s no secret that I am a fan of the late drummer, lyricist, and writer Neil Peart. The quote above is a question he would ask himself every morning when he awoke, and I’m incorporating it into my own daily routine.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking about this question because it can be interpreted in different ways. What sort of excellent things is he referring to? Something that will change the world? Something that will inspire others?
I’m looking at it as something more personal, more along the lines of what is something I can do that will improve my life, that will add happiness or satisfaction to my day. I’m not expecting to do something that will change my life or the lives of others. I’m going to keep it simple
For example, an excellent thing to do could be to take my dogs for a ride in the car. They LOVE to ride in the car, and it makes me feel good to see how happy they are with their heads hanging out the rear windows, tongues flapping in the wind, noses twitching at all the new smells. That feeling sticks with me for hours afterward.
Or maybe finishing a short story draft, one that I’ve been working on for a while. That also gives me an endorphin rush. I love to type that final punctuation mark, then sit back in my chair and look over what I just finished creating. It’s an amazing feeling.
It could be as simple as making my partner laugh. Not one of those ‘oh look, he’s trying to be funny again’ laughs, but a real one, one that lights up her eyes. That’s an excellent feeling that sticks around for a while.
I’m also a fan of random acts of kindness, like holding a door for someone entering a store behind me, complimenting a stranger’s outfit, or handing a flower to the person working the drive-through window. I’ve done all of these and in some cases the stranger’s reaction has stuck with me for years afterward. When the memories pop up they always bring a smile to my face and make me feel warm inside.
Think about adding some excellence to your day, every day. It doesn’t need to take much effort, but the results could last a lifetime.