“A well-spent day brings happy sleep.” ~Leonardo da Vinci
As far as I know, da Vinci was no sleep expert. But this simple idea has far more to do with living a fulfilling life than simply how to get a good night of sleep. We all go through periods where we feel like we’re just spinning our wheels, not getting anything done. This can lead to mood swings, depression, or just an overall dissatisfaction with our lives. But what does that have to do with sleep?
I don’t know about you, but when I’ve had a busy day, but accomplished a lot of meaningful things, I feel like my day was, as da Vinci put it, “well-spent”. There’s no doubt that when I go to bed after a day well-spent, I feel uplifted and fulfilled by my accomplishments. And when you string several days together that are well-spent, it can lead to a deeper satisfaction for your life.
Let’s look at another possibility. What if your life was spent watching TV for hours every day, or surfing the Internet, playing video games, or constantly texting or talking on the phone? At the end of the day, do you think you would feel more or less fulfilled and satisfied with your life? Well, after one day, maybe it’s not a big deal, but after several days, weeks, or months, you might start feeling restless or maybe depressed and not understand why.
The key is to fill each day with value. Think of it like a checking account. When you make regular deposits of money, it feels great to see your balance growing. You feel secure and satisfied with your account. But when the balance is low and getting lower, it makes you nervous. When it drops into the negative, full-blown stress ensues. But how do you make positive deposits into your life account? Spend time doing things that uplift yourself and others, rather than wasting time or doing things that make you or others feel bad. What would your life be like if you spent time every day doing things that make you happy, make you feel satisfied, or grateful?
You cannot over estimate the value of a life spent in the service of others or in living a constructive and uplifting life. It’s like jumping into the direct flow of happiness. The sense of contentment you experience at the end of each day gets magnified over several days or more; each one adding to growing satisfaction and fulfillment that you’re feeling. And this, in turn, creates an energy of compassion and gratitude within, and touches everyone around us.
When I rest my head on my pillow at night, one of the most fulfilling and rewarding feelings I can have is to think I’ve made a difference in someone’s life. And this is, to me, a day well-spent.