Having a Great Day
Hey hey, Easton Family!
This is about daily practices and how they can help curate great days every day. The list of what I do is below.
My name is Mike Tousignant and I am currently the President of the Easton Training Center academies. That means I get to work with brilliant people every single day, who help me lead this amazing organization.
My days are currently filled with meetings and projects, which is not much different than before COVID-19. Since I am now at home, I get the added benefit of more family time and deeper work on self- and Easton-focused growth. On top of my daily tasks, I have seen incredible personal benefits from the below practices, so I thought I would share a bit with all of you. This list is missing Jiu Jitsu because of the current circumstances, but we can still find ways to thrive without our true loves. I subscribe pretty heavily to a “grow or die” philosophy and I believe an important part of true personal growth happens through constant feedback and hearing multiple perspectives (nod to Prof. Huddleston).
Like most things in my life, this information has come from friends, books, mentors, and teachers. I am not original, so please enjoy all this gathered knowledge from lots of great people. Read every day and communicate constantly. There is endless knowledge out there that can always benefit us and those around us.
“Every man I meet is my master in some point, and in that I learn of him.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Daily Practices: I’ve excluded all my work stuff like checking emails and meetings. I have rough timestamps in here, and though they shift day to day, I try to stay close to the hours I’ve outlined below. I fill my 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM every day with my two kids and mostly avoid work during these two hours. This also gives my wife an early-in-the-day break to work out, walk the dogs, go for a run, or do whatever it is that can help facilitate her best day.
- Wake up 4:00-4:30 AM: Make coffee and read a couple of blogs while waiting.
- 5:00 AM: Daily meditation. I am using the Waking up app. 10-15 minutes a day. Days when I am feeling more in touch with my baseline (what I call my most lucid and focused state), I leave the guided meditation behind and just set a timer. I sit on a chair in my office, on a bench at the lake near my house, or on the floor on a padded cushion.
- 5:20 AM: Daily readings. I have a number of books and blogs I read just about every day. They are usually 1-minute reads each. Here is my current list. This changes as I finish a book.
- 6:00 AM: Daily journaling. To clear the chaos from my brain.
- 6:30 AM: 30 minutess of reading something on strategy, psychology, literature, or leadership.
- 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM: Kids, kids, kids
10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Mid-Day (between meetings): Dog walk and listening to an audiobook (this often happens on the walk if I am alone with dogs) on psychology or leadership or business. Usually something nonfiction but easy to digest and not very dense (dense material is reserved for my early morning caffeine brain)
- 3:00 PM: For exercise, I am following the 5×5 app from Stronglifts.
- It is a system that I can follow and accomplish the full workout in 1 hour.
- On my days off from lifting I do some cardio or a TRX or workout with a kettlebell during meetings that I am not leading.
- Bedtime reading (9:00 PM or 11:00 PM): an autobiography or some fiction.
- How tired I am will dictate the reading choice for the evening. I find it is helpful to have both genres available so I don’t have to think about it.
- Currently reading:
- Podcasts: I used to listen to a lot of podcasts, but now I wait for a friend to share an episode with me and I will make sure I listen to it. Otherwise, there is too much out there and if I have a choice I am always going to read or listen to a book. There are lots of great podcasts out there and I am sure you can find one that fits your tastes. Personally, I am trying to learn as much as possible, so the podcasts I listen to will usually fall under the categories of leadership, economics, politics, business, and psychology. If someone who I really look up to in the world is on a podcast, I will do my best to listen to those.
- Books: For further information on books to check out, see my recommended reading list.
- I have dove back into the MasterClass website.
- I am finishing up Bob Iger’s class on leadership and Disney.
- I have started Neil Gaiman’s class on writing stories.
- Late-night games with Easton people. A fun way to connect and talk while saving the world!
- This isn’t new but it is seasonal. I love working in my yard in early spring. My 3-year-old son and I get after it and spend hours outside getting everything cleaned up and beautiful for the summer.
All this is just my two cents on what helps me. I am sure we all have our own life hacks and practices, and I’d love to hear yours. Please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am definitely stealing this, but I’ve said it so many times that I forget where I first heard it. It’s an anecdote I tell myself and others when life gets hard and it is a reminder that we are all floating down the same river of life.
I think of life as a flowing river. On one bank is chaos and on the other is rigidity. When the river is flowing smoothly it is relatively easy to stay in the center. The trick is when the rapids are coming at you and you hit them at full force. Some of us lean toward rigidity when the rapids hit and others lean towards chaos or we bounce back and forth off the banks. Of course, it is always going to be hard to stay exactly in the center of the river even on a perfect day, but when the day gets dark and the rapids are intense it is nearly impossible. And that is ok. This is where all the practices come in. If I keep up with my daily practices, even the most intense rapids don’t seem like more than a couple of ripples in the water. But if I start to skip them too many days in a row, I notice a significant shift in my personal emotions and thoughts. Keep practicing.
Or if you prefer a great Pixar reference:
“Just keep swimming.”
-Dory from Finding Nemo