Every few months I sit down and create a “must have” list. These are the things that I must have in my life. Doing this every few months helps solidify what I must have in my life and helps me reflect on whether the things I’ve been doing in the past lead me towards those must-haves.
For example, if I must have fun with my family, but I spent a lot of time fighting with my wife, then I clearly either don’t must-have fun with my family or I am doing something that takes me away from the things I must have.
It’s a good exercise and forces me to focus on things that really matter.
Balance is worth work for. There is a lot worth working for.
There are times when everything is going right, yet you just kind-of feel bored. Maybe you thought there was more than what you are living, or you think that all the things you thought you wanted turned out to be the same as the things you had.
That happens to me sometimes. Not often, of course, I’m generally quite smooth. But every now and then, I feel a real sense of ennui.
To combat that, at least for now, I seek short term change. I’ll hit the gym hard for a week. I’ll go on a weekend trip with my wife. I’ll try to reach above myself to talk to some impressive people.
Those challenges, at least short term, help with the boredom. Then, of course, some exciting project or opportunity reveals itself and I can get into life without feeling so bored.
It’s weird that last month I only posted once. A lot happened. There was a nice trip to Italy, a huge win at work, and an opportunity to grow. I suppose when we are in the middle of living life we don’t take the time to reflect. Only now, weeks later, do I have a day when I can sit back and take stock.
It’s been good. I’d like to avoid posting only once per month. But, then again, if I do, it means the month is full and fun and exciting.
You get older and realise that family really is everything. As an adult professional I meet other adult professionals and the happy ones are really keen to spend time with their families.
I sometimes run into not-so-happy people. Their family life kind of sucks.
There is a lesson there.
Losing weight is really the only advice I’ve given my family in the last five years. They aren’t overweight, but when they ask what they should do before they travel to Asia or Europe to visit me, I always say, ‘lose weight’. It’s quite clear that people need to stay healthy, but we think about eating fruit and veggies, going on a run, and lifting weights.
I don’t really like thinking that way. Instead I want everyone to just think about losing weight. When you decide to lose some weight, maybe 5% of your current weight, you have to take small changes daily. I ate Chinese food last night. That was unhealthy. So today I ran. That’s not enough. So I had a large salad for lunch. That’s a nice small choice, but what’s next? Well I’ll skip potatoes and replace them with broccoli over the weekend. I’ll crave veg and fresh. And I’ll do two spin classes. Once you start losing weight, you feel better. You move better, you run better, and your sex life is much better. I recommend it.
I learned in January 2017 that I have a moral compass. I’ve always told myself that I had a moral compass, and I mostly espoused others to do the right thing. But in January 2017 I was put in a situation where my moral compass was tested and, as it turns out, I have one.
It’s good to realise that you are doing the right thing. It’s also good to re-affirm why you do the work and live the life you live. I chose to work in this field to keep people, structures, businesses, and things safe. I also chose this work to do cool, fun things and take care of my family. I imagine that at one point I’ll know enough and have the right opportunities to maybe become wealthy.
That would be cool. I did not join this career to do bad things, to hurt people, or to get rich off the back of bad stuff. That’s not the man I want to be, nor the husband, son, father, brother, and grandfather. And I’m quite pleased that I won’t be.
Over the first three years of my new career I’ve made some exciting changes. Those changes started on the inside. I’ve changed my expectations of myself and my expectations of others.
I started brilliant. But I quickly realised no one would know about that brilliance until I start to prove it. And proving it means delivering on my deliverables, helping others, and building a network.
Over the last six months I’ve sought out a coach and a mentor. These two people, coupled with success in my job, proactive applications towards higher roles, and a tireless effort to create external content, speak at conferences, and deliver on my deliverables.
If you are in your career and you don’t have a mentor or a coach, find one. I don’t know if there is a serious strategy to get a coach and a mentor, but I was a bit proactive, I waited until I had a vision of what I wanted to be with success, and then asked the right people. Luckily they said yes.
Develop yourself. I’m developing myself.
In times of need I’ve had one true friend who is always there to lift my spirits. Orange Juice. You should drink orange juice when you feel blue, sick, tired, cold, hungry, or empty.
Orange juice is goods.
Sometimes I like to stay up and watch sports. Other times I like to wake up early and hit the gym. It’s a bit disappointing that my body won’t let me do both. It’s not like drinking and recovering because sleep is non-negotiable.
So many things in life involves trade-offs. How would you make the right decision consistently? I reckon you live, make trade-offs, reflect on them, and look over time at what is right and wrong, building intuition.