Now that you have done all this work on your life, it is time to take the final step in making it as wonderful as it can possibly be. But first let’s review all the steps we’ve gone through to address the problem of having too many responsibilities and too many things we would like to do in the limited time available to each of us.
Step 1: Discover values
Step 2: Make sure those values are objective meaning they are legitimately improving your life as determined by a proper process of reason.
Step 3: Again through a process of reason create a ‘Hierarchy of Values.’ Make sure the long-term values are at the top of your hierarchy.
Step 4: Organize your life’s tasks so as to get the most out of the limited amount of time available to you.
Step 5: Take action. Once you have done all this thinking and planning it is imperative to put yourself and act to achieve your values.
If you have gone through this process seriously and legitimately put in the effort, then the final step of the process is to enjoy what you have accomplished. And I would tell you this even if you fail to achieve your goal.
Sometimes in life things don’t work out regardless of how much effort or thought you put in. You should still take pride in how you are living your life, and then regroup and start through the process again – this time with all of the experience you have gained. It may take more time than you would like, but I guarantee you will eventually succeed.
But the most important thing in this entire process is to understand the need to value yourself and take legitimate pride in how you are living your life.
When I was in high school, I discovered I had certain talents and I also discovered I was lacking certain talents. I was good with numbers and very good at thinking abstractly, but I was not good at working with my hands and my people skills were severely lacking. I’m not telling anybody over 30 anything new here. At some point in each of our lives, we discover what we are good at and what we are not good at.
This turns out to be a wonderful thing when you live in a free society; freedom allows you to team up with others who complement your skills, so that all of your talents put together can allow you to do great things. And freedom also allows you and the organization you are associated with to make changes whenever an association isn’t working or when it can be improved. Continue reading
In the previous installments of this series and in response to the innumerable choices life constantly throws at us, I have discussed how important it is to ‘Value’, how the values you try to achieve must be ‘Objective Values’ and finally the importance of establishing a ‘Hierarchy of Values’ if you are going to successfully navigate through all of the responsibilities, desires, and choices available. You may think that with this we are done, but even if you have developed a perfectly wonderful hierarchy of values that fits you to a tee, you still are faced with the fact that there are only so many hours in the day. In order to make your prioritized set of values work the best they can for your life, you must learn how to organize your time as efficiently as possible.
When I worked at Colorado Container, our CPA would constantly marvel at my clean desk. Continue reading
One of the tools I have used throughout my life, but most especially in my career as an accountant, is to envision the ‘Ideal Solution’ whenever I am confronted with a particularly thorny problem.
I usually resort to this whenever the problem I am confronted with appears to have no solution- or more precisely, every solution I can think of can be almost instantly shot down because it has a flaw in it. This kind of situation tends to bring on a kind of panicked mindset where the problem seems insoluble and the ‘solutions’ seem infinite.
The ‘Ideal Solution’ method involves stepping back from everything, i.e. disengaging myself from the details of the problem to look at just exactly what we are trying to accomplish. Once I have identified the overarching goal, I then give myself carte blanche to imagine I had every tool conceivable at my disposal in order to reach that goal. And I’m not beyond diving into science fiction or fantasy in order to achieve this ‘Ideal Solution.’
By going through this thought process, I identify a solution to the problem, which I typically put down on paper. And once this ‘Ideal Solution’ is down on paper usually one of two things happens. Continue reading
I just read a long piece in Sports Illustrated entitled “The Sabanization of College Football” written by Andy Staples. It was yet another confirmation of something I learned a long time ago and have seen repeated time and time again in life – the most successful people in ANY field are always the ones who pay the most attention to the details of whatever it is they are trying to accomplish.
The purpose of the article was to show why Nick Saban, the head football coach at the University of Alabama, has been so successful (he’s won 2 of the last 3 national championships). To give just a small slice of why, here is an excerpt from the article:
“Instead of thinking about the scoreboard, think about dominating the man on the opposite side of the line of scrimmage. Instead of thinking about a conference title, think about finishing a ninth rep in the weight room. Instead of thinking about graduating, think about writing a great paper for Intro to Psych.”
As you can see, Mr. Saban is intensely interested in making sure the people he is leading are focused on all the little things they need to do in order to be successful. Continue reading