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The End of the Day Philosophy by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits

‘If your knees aren’t green by the end of the day, you ought to seriously re-examine your life.’
~Bill Watterson

I’ve been making my small decisions throughout the day, recently, with a simple question: How will I feel about this when today is over?

If I have a choice right now between reading social media and news articles, or writing, I know what the answer will be: at the end of the day, I’d be much happier if I’d chosen writing.

If I am faced with chips and pizza, I might be mightily tempted to eat them right now, but I know that later in the day I’ll be sorry I did. I inevitably feel bad after I eat greasy foods, though I always forget that before I eat the food.

At the end of the day, I won’t regret having spent a little time with my wife or kids, but I will regret watching videos online or wasting my time by playing games.

I won’t regret having done my workout, but I will regret sitting all day.

I’ve learned these answers through repeated observation, but you can learn your own answers by asking the question before you do anything, making a hypothesis (“I won’t regret this later”) and then seeing if you’re right by reviewing the results at the end of each day.

Have a daily review before you go to bed, even if it’s just a mental review. Were you right? Do you regret any of your choices? If so, don’t feel bad about being wrong — be happy that you’ve learned this.

Then make a better choice the next time.

What are you going to do next, after reading this? Will you be happy with that, at the end of this day?

By Leo Babauta

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