As I mentioned in my introductory post, Ive decided to take a new approach to life. This new approach is something Im going to be calling The Business of Life. The basic premise is that if one is to look at ones life as a manager looks at a business, one would be better able to focus on the things that matter and it would be more likely that one would reach his or her goals more easily than if he or she simply goes about life in a haphazard manner. Ill be developing (and evaluating) this line of thinking and documenting the results in this blog, but for starters, heres a quick overview of my thinking at the moment:
Always set goals for anything important to you.
These goals must be specific and measurable.
They must be actionable (i.e. you can do something about them).
Its very important that you monitor these goals to force yourself to make progress – sure, its work, but remember that this work is driving towards whatever you want most out of life so its the good kind of work.
Identify your priorities in life and organize everything else around them.
DO NOT look at your schedule and then decide which priorities you can focus on – decide the priorities you WILL focus on first.
Focus on what you can control.
If you really put your mind to it, there are very few things you have at least some degree of control over. Identify those things and focus on them and accept that those things that are out of your control are just going to happen and you dont have a choice if you do or dont like it. (e.g. You cant control if you get a promotion, but what you can control is your level of performance. Do the best job you can and thats all you can do.)
Remember there are always two choices in any given situation.
You may not like the other choices, but they are always there (of course, like any generalization there are bound to be exceptions, but for the most part, this has held very true in my experience). This is one of the topics I picked up during my MBA courses so Ill go into more detail on it later – but just remember there are always two choices and youll see for yourself how true it is.
Consider the tradeoff of each decision you make.
Everyone knows there are tradeoffs we make every day – but its been my experience that people fail to think about these tradeoffs and the implications of them BEFORE making the decision. Sure, youre still in control of your life because you did make the decision, but I would rather know the direction Im going before taking a step instead of it being a surprise afterwards. Of course, there are always going to be those times when you have to decide without knowing the impact of that decision, but most of the time, thats not the case.
That should be a good start towards what Im thinking – I need to do more reflecting on it and Ill continue to refine it and post it here, but these are at least in the ballpark. If anyone has any comments on this whole line of thinking, I welcome any feedback you may have.