I split my planning, execution, and reflection into three categories: health, wealth, life/love/learning. Success in each of these categories requires disciplined and consistent action with a broad overarching series of goals. In my humble opinion, finding a healthy synergy between them is the key to a more fulfilling life.
Health: This can be as simple as stretching and going for a walk every day, to setting goals that will require you to work your butt off and eat right. My personal goal is to establish and follow a regiment that keeps my body feeling good and making marginal improvements in my athletic performance, endurance, and body composition. Nutrition is also huge for me since I’m allergic to an annoyingly large variety of foods and being sick prevents me from performing at my best professionally and physically.
Wealth: This is everything you want to accomplish professionally, and doesn’t necessarily always require having a monetary value attached to it. I set the bulk of my productive hours a day for various work-related things, such as ensuring CoinCentral keeps producing high-quality articles and stays ahead of the cryptocurrency industry curve. A few hours a week go towards strategy or polishing up on general entrepreneurial skills like accounting. A good amount of hours goes towards reading content that is directly or indirectly related to my focus at the time. Essentially, anything related to generating revenue, building your business/empire, understanding trends as they pertain to you, exploring new potential opportunities, and learning basic back-end skills go here.
Life/Love/Learning: I’ve found there’s an incredible amount of harmony to these three sub-categories that it makes sense to place them into one. This category essentially covers the upper half of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid: love/belonging, esteem, and at the highest point, self-actualization. This involves things such as:
1. Life: Understanding and doing things that “make you come alive” within or outside of your immediate spectrum. For example, even though the bulk of my professional deliverables are oriented around writing and marketing, whenever I have free time I try to do things that spark some level of wonder and experimentation. That could be anything from creating virtual reality art on an Oculus Rift, playing an instrument, reading and writing fiction, etc. The goal is to find avenues to let creativity flow.
2. Love: Being cognizant of your relationships with those close to you, whether platonic, filial, or romantic. Understanding how and why you interact with people the way you do will teach you a ton about yourself. I’m blessed to have such amazing people in my life. However, as someone who is prone to jump into rabbit holes of learning or working, my communication can be extremely limited at times. A lack of communication and/or understanding with those close to you not only limits you from enjoying the company and conversation of people you have an interest in, but it can also knock you off your grounding at times. In a world where the majority of your friends likely live in different cities, countries, and time zones, it takes some proactive effort to be available (and more important receptive) for your people.
3. Learning: Tackle the knowledge gap between you and the world’s greatest challenges or generally any other skill you’d like to learn. I have a deep interest in philosophy, psychology, and whatever else can help me explore answers to life’s existential questions. I also have too many interests than I know what to do with, so I try to portion my year into quarters that focus on learning a completely new skill or making a next-level advancement in a current one. For example, since I’ve started this quarterly challenge I’ve worked on my writing, basic design, basic development, cooking, and boxing.
What is your definition of success?
“The last day you have on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become.”
When my great-great-great-great grandkids are scrolling through my embarrassing high school Facebook statuses, I want them also to find out some of the awesome things I’ve done as well.
I believe in creating a large net positive between growth and the gradual decline into disorder. The path of least resistance is almost always towards entropy and disintegration (of organic material, or memory). It’s on you to fight and beat this path of least resistance as best you can.
A few other shallow metrics will leave you pretty empty handed on your deathbed. When it’s all said and done, hitting your revenue goal shouldn’t rank in the top 5 best things you’ve done in your life. Sure, it’s something to strive towards in the short term, but think bigger.
I like the growth definition because it accounts for how ephemeral life can be and it doesn’t stop pushing you to be better. A complacent hands-off approach to life will soon leave you without purpose or direction, and I reckon you’ll spend a good portion of your thinking ability thinking how life would turn out if you tried harder.