Category: Blog

What Matters In Life?

In a video Marshall Goldsmith (a respected and sought-after executive coach) talks about what he learned in regards to what truly matters in life.

I am going to briefly summarize the six things Goldsmith says are necessary for a “good” life.

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1) Health

I’ve often told myself the best investment I can make in my future is develop lifestyle habits that support my health and vitality. Reason being, no matter what I do now to save for retirement, if I am in poor health, or die early, it won’t matter what my “nest egg” is.

What’s more, to the degree I take care of my health now, I will have increased ability to both save for retirement and enjoy the present day.

2) Wealth

No one wants to be broke. To a certain degree money is necessary in our lives. But, after $75,000/year (for a single person; say $125-50,000 or so for a (small) family), money matters little in happiness and well-being. Meaning, if you’re not doing the things that support satisfaction and contentment, it won’t matter if you make $200,000 or $2M every year.

3) Positive Relationships

People need people. Relationships matter. Ever wonder how some people just seem to enjoy themselves and are patient, curious, even magnetic? I would be willing to bet it’s because they have positive relationships with others. It takes intention, and some work, though. But it’s one of those investments that pay off.

4) Achievement

We are made to do stuff. Making a contribution/difference/impact is important to human beings. I’ve heard it said that work and contribution is the rent we pay for our lives on this planet. To the extent you honor that idea you’ll feel good and lead a good life. If however, you slack off, or merely “get by, “you’ll pay a heavy emotional cost.

5) Happiness / 6) Meaning

According to Marshall these go together. I can agree with that. We need to be both happy, do what matters (to us) and find meaning in our lives and the World.

If we sacrifice one for the other, or neglect one,we will suffer.

But if we find work and activities that support our happiness (contentment and satisfaction) and that which we can derive meaning from we will have a good life.

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What do you think? Have I missed something important? Let me know in the comments below.

Oh, and make sure you watch the video . . . there’s a bunch of good stuff there.

A New Way To Think About Goals & Achievement

I was just watching a video by Brian Johnson where he was talking about Steve Chandler‘s (excellent) book Wealth Warrior (I highly recommend you watching the video (especially the bit about the dominoes) and reading Steve’s book).  About 7:50 in he starts talking about our Current reality and our imagined Ideal; he used the idea of a rubber band between the two, but I’d like to make my own metaphor.

Imagine there’s some distance between where you on something and where you’d like to be (the Current/Ideal gap) and you have a Hook, a length of Rope and the strength in hands/arms/etc. that let you hold on, and pull yourself along the rope.

Let me explain:

The Hook

The sharpness and ability-to-hold of your Hook is your belief in yourself and the sureness you have that you’ll do the work required to do what it takes. If you don’t believe you can do what is necessary and do see yourself persevering, your hook is dull and won’t hold.

Also, the holding power of your hook is directly in proportion to how much you deeply, truly, authentically want something. If your goal isn’t authentic, if it isn’t yours, your hook won’t hold, or will slip easily.

The Rope

The length of your rope is your ability to think big about what you want and what you’re capable of (and your history of doing scary, difficult, arduous and new things). As you do more, and achieve more, you will be able to see further out, your rope will lengthen and you’ll be able to throw it farther. But, at first, your rope is shorter than it otherwise could be.

The Pull

Your ability to be present and awareness and your “life skills” are your pull. As you learn, grow and develop, your “grip-strength” and ability to pull yourself along your Rope increases. At first though, your strength is not what it could be.

How It Works

First you decide you want to make a change or achieve a goal. You then throw your hook out to your Ideal. Then you begin the process of pulling yourself along the rope to your goal.

To the extent that any of your “tools” are weak, you will have trouble.

But, if your “tools” are strong and well-developed, you will succeed.

Have Your Own Goals Too!

Today’s post is a blatant rip-off of a mentor – but his words are so perfect, his message so on-point, I had to share it in its entirety.

In an e-mail from Steve Chandler this morning, I found this gem of a message:

If I walked in to your home office today I would find other people’s goals all over the place. I’d walk to the desk and see the utility company’s written, specific goal on a piece of paper. I’d see the medical imaging center’s goal for what they wanted to earn-down to the penny-from you in the next thirty days. I’d see your child’s school’s donation to save the athletic program goal.

Goals and dreams all over the place. Written and definite. Guiding your life! Telling you what to do-how much money to make. Other people’s goals.

But where are yours? Your own goals? Where are they written down for you to see?

Indeed!

Where are your goals?

Where are my goals, that are well and truly mine?

The First Step

Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it. – Roald Dahl

You must believe, first.

And, to the extent you believe, you will have energy, purpose and staying power.

But if you don’t believe, if you don’t think that there’s magic, that there’s more for you out there, you won’t start and you’ll never find those great secrets.

Believe.

It’s the first step to anything.