Daily Forethought

by Peter Saint-Andre


In pursuit of a more examined life, I've been honing my daily habits. Taking a hint from the ancient Stoics, first thing in the morning I've been thinking about the day ahead and then at the end of the day I've been reflecting on how the day went. Here's a snapshot of what this looks like for me (I'll split this up into two posts, one prospective and one retrospective).

To begin the day, I apply an Epicurean twist and take a moment to appreciate the simple fact of being alive to enjoy another day of existence. This includes being grateful for some of the many beautiful and beneficial aspects of the life I lead. Then I ask myself a series of questions:

To make this session as successful as possible, I try to keep the following themes in mind:

  1. Raising my awareness throughout the day.
  2. Approaching the day with a greater sense of purpose.
  3. Having more optimism about what I can accomplish.
  4. Facing challenges with greater resilience.
  5. Maintaining a high level of focus.
  6. Putting a premium on effective action.

I keep a notes document on my phone to remind me of these questions and themes, which I look at before I peek at ephemera like email, news headlines, or the weather forecast. As Thoreau said, "Read not the Times; Read the Eternities." And what's more eternal than living a good life?

UPDATE: The follow-up post is Daily Reflection

(Cross-posted at philosopher.coach.)


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