This is the first of my little project (you can read why here) and I owe you a good start.
One thing I noticed in life is that you cannot be good at everything. No one. A big step in your new life with no regrets is to accept that. This is not a problem though if you want to be good at something. It just asks you to prioriterize a little.
Another point with prioritizing is that I often ntice that I don’t have enough time for everything when I am working. My days are 24h long, I sleep 8h per night, work around 9h per day, so there are 7h left for all the rest. And even when I am on vacation or week end, if I let myself live as I feel, I don’t do much more.
But there is one thing that motivates me very much: to have goal. And since I don’t want to run after 5 rabbits at the same time, here again,I need to prioritize my goals.
Some years ago, a coach teached me a method to sort between things in my life. The wheel of lie. Nothing to do with the one of buddhism though. The wheel of life can also be described by a big cake that you cut in several pieces, representing the area of your life. It could be for example these ones: your health, your familly and partner, your friends, your place to live, your job, your private economy, your hobbies, your dreams.
You may change the categories if you want, or give them names that are more convenient to you. The only thing is that you have to cover your “whole” life.
The next step is to make a check about how every part of your cake is today and give them a grade, in comparison to the other parts of the cake. Let’s try with this example, inspired of my life, but not complete. I make it easy in order to give you the tip to begin your own wheel:
health I am very tired on friday evenings and don’t find the time or the energy to run as much as I would like. This part gets a 3/5.
familly and partner I am very happy with my M but don’t meet my familly as much as I would like, because I find the travels to France too expansive both in money and time. This part of my cake gets a 3/5
friends I don’t meet them as much as I would like too but they live far and are also busy with work and owns famillies. this part gets a 3,5/5.
place to live our current appartment is OK, not very warm in the winter but cheap rent and close to the city. This part of the cake gets a 4/5
job I am pretty happy with my job nowadays. This part gets a 5/5
private economy I am pretty happy with my economical situation, even if sometimes I wish I were very rich. This part gets a 4,5/5
hobbies oh, I wish I would read more, I would make more good pictures, I would go more to museum, and so on… This part gets a 2/5
dreams hum, I don’t really have a dream I can tell on here to write, so this part will not be evaluated for this exampel. This is not very important, you will understand the princip even without it.
Ok, so my lowest grade gets to hobbies and the highest to job and the other grades are in between. The point is: Am I satisfied with these grades? If the answer is yes, congratulations! You probably wouldn’t regret anything if you would die in 5 minutes! If the answer was more like hum, no, then you have a choice: make something to changre it or accept it.
Keep in mind that if you change anything in one part of your life, it will have consequences for the others. For my exampel, I could wish me more time for my hobbies instead of sleeping that much and I would work only 80% of my working time. The consequences could be that my health would be worse if I am tired and my economical situation would also go down. But maybe I can accept to earn less money, but not to be tired.
I you decide to change something, don’t make too ambitious changes, take it step by step, so that you feel able to make the changes. Decide even how long you will have to make the change. This has to be a realistical time laps. For exampel, if you want to change your work, maybe count with half a year or something but if you just want to take a walk five times a week to have a better health, begin tomorrow and make a check in one month or so. Ajust your ambitions to your life, this is what all is about.
The goals for the example above could be like that:
health no changes. I can live with a 3,5/5 for the moment, even if it is not close to the highest grade.
familly and partner I will try to call my familly once every two weeks (1), and e-mail pictures of our daily life (2), just to make them feel included in our lie, even if we are far away.
friends I will email a real story-telling e-mail to my good friends once a month (3). This is cheap and the hour of writting in the month will surely help me to feel close to my friends, even if we don’t meet as much as we would like to.
place to live no changes, I can deal with it.
job no changes. Why change something that is perfect so far?
private economy no changes, I can’t complain.
hobbies I will take at least 1 walk with my camera every week to take pictures (4). I can begin with this already tomorrow if I stop to sur on the internet that much, yeah! I will even try to talk to my boss to take a day off every two weeks (5) in order to read more or fix pictures. This may take some months or maybe I will get a no, depending of the current amount of work and my bosses decision. I will ask and let me 3 months to check this goal again.
So I have 5 goals:
1) call my familly every two weeks. Check: in 3 months.
2) send dail pictures to my familly. Check: in one month.
3) write story-telling e-mail to my closed friends once a month. Check: in 3 months.
4) take “pictures-walks” once a week. Check: next month.
5) ask my boss for the possibility to take off one day every two weeks. Check: in three months.
The 4 firsts goals will not cost much more than time, so I need to cut down the unnecessary internet time, the goal 5 should contribute to reach the goal 4 what goes on time, but it may affect my economicla situation: if I work less, I won’t earn that much money and maybe this could be a problem. The next step for me is to decide is this is ok or not. If it’s not ok to earn less money, then I have to accept that I won’t be able to read or take pictures as much as I want to. What I mean with that is that you most of the time have a choice to make and this is so much easier if you decide by yourself what is ok and what is not.
At the beginning, I thought that it was unsexy to put goals in my personal life. I have enough goals at work, so I wanted to life my private life free of stress, but after making the wheel once, I noticed that I was much more satisfied with having goals in my personal life in order to reach a better private lie (according to me). Somehow, I took control of my life and was much more able to let things that I did not want to/couldn’t change go and to do something with motivation.
Some interesting facts about student of Harvard, taken in this blog: http://sidsavara.com/personal-productivity/why-3-of-harvard-mbas-make-ten-times-as-much-as-the-other-97-combined
Why Do 3% of Harvard MBAs Make Ten Times as Much as the Other 97% Combined ?
The answer is a simple question: “Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?” In 1979, interviewers asked new graduates from the Harvard’s MBA Program and found that :
- 84% had no specific goals at all
- 13% had goals but they were not committed to paper
- 3% had clear, written goals and plans to accomplish them
In 1989, the interviewers again interviewed the graduates of that class. You can guess the results:
- The 13% of the class who had goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84 percent who had no goals at all.
- Even more staggering – the three percent who had clear, written goals were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97 percent put together.
(Source: from the book What They Don’t Teach You in the Harvard Business School, by Mark McCormack)
You may revisit your wheel regularly, and after some time, you will be surprised about the power of this tool: you will change your life for real and in the direction that you want it too! This is very powerfull!
In the part “No regret” of this blig, I will try to tell about small things that everyone could make to make a step in one direction. As I said, I am not an expert, I can just tell about my own life philosophy, which is, according to me, working very well since I wouldn’t regret anything if I would die in 5 minutes. Simple things, that everyone can do and that are cheap.
Keep on writting comments to the post “What would you regret if you would die in 5 minutes”, if will help me to write about things that you may want to read about!