Friday, May 25, 2007

So What Does Your Perfect Day Reveal?

'The perfect day exercise' (see yesterday's blog) is the ideal way of getting the conscious mind and unconscious mind to work together, often bringing your underlying unconscious motivation to the surface. It is what you would really like to do in life and what gives you real pleasure, not what society has enforced upon you. Perhaps contrary to evolutionary psychology, sex does not usually play a big role in the perfect day exercise, although if your ideal day involved waking up with James Bond or kissing Kylie Minogue, there’s no wrong day, and no two people’s perfect days will ever be the same. They are as unique as fingerprints.

Happiness will probably not be achieved by replication of this exact day, but it offers the opportunity to help consider a direction of travel, helping to align your conscious and unconscious motivations. In fact, it’s a bit like the so-called ‘Rorschah’ or ‘ink blot’ test, which asks you to make pictures out of ink blots, to see what the unconscious mind sees. The different images people see, come from everyone’s unique brain wiring, not the ink blot shapes themselves.

With the perfect day exercise it’s perhaps interesting to note that top achievers frequently do not have goal conflicts. For example, when Olympic gold medal winners are asked for their perfect day, it is often found that they will have dreamt about getting an Olympic gold on their perfect day. This shows the immense power and importance of the conscious and unconscious working in harmony. Most people find this exercise very helpful and I certainly hope you all enjoyed doing it.


simon said...

I found it a bit of a threat!
If I answered everything honestly.. I discover I am nowhere where i want to be!

Even though I have everything that looks right on paper!

David Anthony said...

well waking up next to James Bond ... no.

Kissing Kylie Minogue ... much better option.

The day would end with a light summer breeze flowing in through the curtains as I get into bed. Much as it is tonight, and it's where I'm headed now...

QUASAR9 said...

lol Michelle,
My Perfect Day
would be here
with the one I love (someone like you)
and a little shade from the heat in the afternoon sun under a coconut tree
Could my dream come true?

Maalie said...

In retirement I have real troubles deciding what to do with my day. There are so many lovely conflicting options, birding, camping, fishing, fell-walking, surfing the Ryanair website, and I feel terrible if I consider that I have "wasted" a single day!

As for Kylie, very pretty, but just fancy waking up next to Sylvie...

Anonymous said...

There's no such thing as perfection.

Our world is imperfect, and we live in a realm of relativities.

So the best sex you've ever had might be after an argument, but who'd ever wish for an argument?

If we had a perfect day as you describe it, it wouldn't actually be that enjoyable at all.

My perfect day would be unplanned, unpredictable, and fun. If something goes wrong, who cares? We can get through it, and will feel good if we do.

QUASAR9 said...

Hi Anonymous, fair point
but things that go wrong tend to ruin an otherwise perfect day
like rain on your wedding day
or the car breaking down on your day off or for the bank holiday
or your flight being cancelled due to fog or bad weather

or your barbecue catching fire or burning the sunday roast,
or having one too many on your birthday and still getting in your car and deciding to drive only to get breathalized

or not been able to keep your end of the bargain and finding your viagra stash is gone!

But the name (or purpose) of the exercise was to select your perfect day

For some a perfect day has to be planned, like weddings, and the more complex the planning the more things can go wrong.

I must admit I'm like you, I thrive on the spontaneous, like going out for a drive and see where I end up. Like to wake up in the morning and treat my date like if it were our first date.
With flowers and breakfast to start us off, a drive to meet friends for lumch, or simply lunch in our own company - an afternoon by the pool, sauna or spa

And after dressing up for the evening a long meal at some classy restaurant where they serve real food, and have music or a show - or first theatre and then a meal,
and finally in a taxi to a club for a bit of late night dancing drinking only whisky or champagne.

But as you say spontaneity is the order of the day, and that would only be my itinerary once a week, for as you know anything you do everyday loses its sparkle the second or third time done in a row.
And I make a point of not mixing my drinks, though I do like a good bottle of red wine with the meal.

Anonymous said...

As well as spontanaiety, surely expectation plays a part here.

If you plan your perfect day, your expectations will be of (unattainable) perfection, so you'll be disappointed despite having seen animals in the zoo and drunk sangria in the park.

Humanity is forgotten here too. For most, the perfect day would be pretty boring without some human company. Humans have their own personalities and are opinionated, challenging, supportive and spontaneous. You can't plan for another person's involvememnt in your perfect day because life doesn't work like that.

There is such beauty in being surprised, caught off guard, and experiencing new things. And we can't plan any of these things into our perfect day. So I think the whole 'perfect day' exercise is fatally flawed. It's a primary school exercise, and not the philosophical, psychological project its trying so hard to be.

Maalie said...

If I understand it, I don't think Michelle expected any of our "perfect days" to happen in reality. It is simply an exercise in the mind (i.e. imagination) as a device for getting the conscious mind and unconscious mind to work together.

Anonymous said...

And how does one access ones unconscious mind, exactly? Surely if any part of the mind was accessed, it'd be the conscious mind, not the unconscious mind?

Seriously, the human mind is much more complex than this. Playing happy-clappy games and pretending you're accessing your unconscious mind is a ludicrous exercise for any adult to partake in.

Eliza said...

surely the point here is that you access your unconscious desires and goals that you can not access in another way- by verballising it into a perfect day you bring it to forfront and therefore make it conscious-

they are accessible because they are thoughts- being unconscious does not make them inaccessible - that's the point! you've just answered your own question.

Veronica said...

perfection is this moment right is perfect its how we percieve it thats the problem....

Rachel Joyce said...

Thanks Michelle - useful exercise.

QUASAR9 said...

interesting Veronica

So we live in the best of all possible worlds, it is only down to us whether we perceive our flight being cancelled as irksome, or simply an 'inevitable' event.

why is it some people spend so much letting emotions rule their life 'almost' chaotically, if its gonna happen it will - but, can we will it to happen?

I guess we still need to beware what we wish for. Wishing for the shine to burn bright is fine as long as we have shade & water, or we are by the beach with a cool breeze - else instead of paradise isles, we could become parched and desert-like

Ju's little sister said...


Personally - I reckon anyone who scorns I something as being too silly for an 'adult' is probably the person most in need of a little 'childish' fun. Release your inhibitions for a second and DREAM!!!!

But then I do a little too much dreaming myself ;-) Thanks Michelle I don't think I'll let this perfect day go. I'll come back to it later in life and see how it has changed.

simon said...

good on you Ju's! I could not agree more!

Anonymous said...

Ju's little sister,

You appear to have made the embarrassing mistake of judging someone's intentions without any proof. The poster above didn't belittle 'dreams' in any way. He simply pointed out that he thought this was a basic exercise and not anything deeply philosophical. There's a big difference there.

Maalie said...

Ju's L.S.: Ignore it. The "anonymous" post is just trolling.

Ju's little sister said...

Hee hee, thanks for your support Simon and Maalie, I appreciate it.

I'm not concerned, I know what I mean and stand by it. Anon's comments were about as helpful as mine so there's little point in worrying about it.