I spend a lot of time trying to formulate a core life thesis that can guide my actions, decisions and goals in life. Historically, I’ve been pretty good at setting and achieving goals each quarter or year, but I wanted to go a level deeper and uncover a framework that could encompass how I spend my time, be it in pursuit of an ultra-race, writing a book, or just napping on the couch. Life has a lot more minutes and hours spent plugging along than it does crossing a finish line.
Jumping to it (for those without patience, which is a virtue, even in our Internet times).
Intention – To have the time, resources and ability to freely choose how I create achievements, experiences and connections in my life.
In a net, I don’t want to be this guy, who is not choosing much of anything, except perhaps which corner to make his filth in.
How I got here?
For a while, I had been circling around the word ‘creation’. In fact, it’s got its own page on this site. I’ve continued to toy with components of that framework. I talked about creating this stuff before:
- Achievements – Pursuing and succeeding in unique and meaningful accomplishments that can be distinctly measured. This ranges from creating a business to simply getting a work project done, from finishing a race to organizing the closet.
- Experiences – Spending time immersing in nature’s wonder, discovering new places and cultures, participating in exotic activities or simply going on a walk around the block with your child.
- Connections – Building deeper relationships with friends and family who are partners on the journey and active participants in creating achievements and experiences together.
Recently I’ve added the ‘Time’, Resources’ and ‘Ability’ – all of which I believe are required to Freely Choose. What’s that mean?
- Time – This is tied to how I choose to work. I’ve surrounded myself with folks who can build businesses and who I can work with remotely. This means I explicitly avoid two life demands that are time black holes. Commuting to an office and being in said office. I can go on a run when I need to. I can work from North Carolina so I can play golf with my father.
- Resources – Of course this means money (you can’t travel to Europe on hope alone), but it also means folks like my wife, who is more than willing to let me leave her with the kids while I visit friends. Come to think of it, maybe too willing…..
- Ability – These are the mental (not depressed), spiritual (aware enough to find enjoyment in the moments) and physical (fit and not hungover) capabilities required to take action, to capitalize on time and resources. Mostly this comes down to taking care of myself. Sleeping. Eating well. Working out. Avoiding the 4 Loco.
So in action, what’s this mean for 2019? For my big achievement, I’m going to run a 100 miler. I’ve made a commitment to connect with my 3 college roommates at least once (2 already down). And I’ve teed up a family trip to France that will hopefully be an epic experience. Having that in motion allows me to ask the question….am I freely choosing? For now, yes. And that feels good.