More and more as I encounter people I find they don’t have a story about where they are going. They are drifting through their life and career and not producing outcomes. They can only see time in very short horizons and this greatly impacts their moods.
In my last blog I wrote about time and, because it’s so important, I am again. Have you noticed how some people seem able to produce so much more than others and yet they don’t have any more time? What they are managing first is themselves. Yes, you first must face the truth, absolute truth, about the Self you are.
There are 7 questions of the Self as specified by The Aji Network (www.aji.com);
- What do I care about?
- What do I believe?
- How do I believe?
- What is right and wrong?
- What are virtues and vices?
- What is a good life?
- What do I share with others?
Answering these questions is the beginning to specifying where you are going. If you don’t know the answers to these questions for your Self – get to work and write them out. Work with your spouse to get clear about where you going as a couple and how you answer these questions. If there is a big gap between what you and your significant other believe, you will have trouble in the very near future.
Let’s say you are now clear and have answers to those questions. You still have to build a narrative about your ambitions – lifestyle, financial and business. Most powerful is to specify your ambitions in that sequence not the other way around. Again most people I encounter are in a story about the business they are in, the money they make and therefore the lifestyle they can afford. Wouldn’t your life be much more filled with passion if you started by specifying a lifestyle you are out to produce and actually go for it?
Still, it does not end there. You must follow through. It is not only the backswing and the impact that determine good strokes in tennis, but also the following through. In other words, the course, the speed and trajectory of the ball are partly governed by what the racket does after impact. Analogously, the boxer learns to aim his blows, not at the point of contact, but somewhat beyond it; and the karate master practices similar methods. The same rule holds in many other forms of experience. People of understanding do not aim at actions so much as through them; others, who desist from effort at the supposed moment of completion, often complete nothing at all and almost never learn from their success or failure.
These high-achievers seem to outperform everyone and produce at extraordinarily high rates. They manage their time differently and hold the following practices better than most;
- Fulfill painful obligations as soon as possible
- Schedule errands and minor chores together rather than separately
- Do difficult things before easy things
- Avoid petty disagreements, and do not become upset when others foment them
- Make minor decisions quickly, and put them out of your mind
- In general, do not concern yourself with trivia
- Refuse, politely but decisively, to accept involvements that would distract you from the purposes you value
- Seek advice from experts, but otherwise avoid projects whose success depends on the charity or competence of others
- Work regularly, but rest and exercise as much as you work
- Ensure that every important activity receives a large and uninterrupted period of time
- Sell, give away, or otherwise dispose of your television set
- Keep a personal file
- Keep a record of your progress by days, weeks, months and years
Do these things and you will increase your capacity and productivity. Do them with intention, commitment, direction and ambition and you will be living a life of passion.