Saturday, August 21, 2010

That Goal Beyond the Goal...

I realize that the goal beyond the goal is what keeps me working on the business. The business is great fun. Sometimes challenging. Sometimes hard work. Always rewarding. The immediate goal is to breathe life into the business I am working on.

But the primary goal is to gain freedom in my life to do the things that create happiness and harmony in my days. Early Retirement. Maybe. That is the big goal. The rest of it is the means to the end. The means to the end must create pleasure or it is in opposition to the primary goal. The business will be part of my early retirement and it will hopefully fund a part of it. So I need to like it.

The goal beyond the goal is what keeps me executing step by step for the business to go forward. Not a bad motivator. Whenever I wonder why I working on this, I flash forward to the place I am creating for the future. Need to focus on the parts that move me forward. Sometimes in the busy-ness of getting all the little things done we push aside the things that really matter.

"How am I going to live today in order to create the tomorrow I'm committed to?" Anthony Robbins.

Need to have a plan for what tomorrow looks like. Otherwise it will look frighteningly similar to today. (Not awful just uninspiring)Then I need to add to the list, the things that move me toward that plan.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

5 Year Plan Update

At the halfway point of my five year plan. Time to check in on my progress to date. My five year plan put me in a place where I can have the freedom to fill my days with my choices. To travel, to sit and be, to have time and experiences that excite me. To add more authenticity to my life. So how am I doing?

The answer is that very little on the outside has changed since I set the initial goal. That is to an outsider looking in, I am still doing what I have always done. I am still enjoying my time with my children immensely. The days with them here become fewer and fewer so I value that time more and more. I still work my same job although I have cut back on my client list so that I can have time to explore alternative directions.

The biggest thing that has changed since the inception of the five year plan, is that I believe that I can change the quality of my days. I was not sure I could and now I am sure. Most days. I have slowed my pace significantly spending time with only those people who make my heart sing. Reduced the social whirlwind by saying no. I exercise every day for about an hour and a half a day and I miss it on the days when I cannot fit it in. I am making headway on the business, that although it is still on life support, is showing positive signs.There is no travel or cause related activity in my life yet. But I still have two and a half years left of my timeline. To make more changes.

My intent is not to make changes that are visible to others but to make changes that are meaningful in my life. Helps to keep that in sight. I am intensely motivated by setting goals and creating change for the better. When I have no goals life takes on a feeling of mediocrity that is not awful but not inspiring. I like to feel inspired.

Leo Tolstoy says that "True life is lived when tiny choices are made. Tiny choices mean tiny changes. But it is only with infinitesimal change, changes so small no one else even realizes you're making them, that you have any hope for transformation."

Saturday, August 7, 2010

If Today Was Your Last Day

I was running yesterday and listening to Nickelback on my headset. "If Today was Your Last Day". Cool lyrics from a young person.

"My best friend gave me the best advice,
he said each day's a gift and not a given right
Leave no stone unturned
Leave your fears behind
And try to take the path less traveled by
That first step you take is the longest stride

If today was your last day
Tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday..
Would you live each moment like your last
Leave old pictures in the past
Donate every dime you have
If today was your last day

Against the grain should be a way of life
What's worth the price is always worth the fight
Every second counts cause there's no second try
So live like you're never living twice
Don't take the free ride with your whole life...."

My first thought while hearing these lyrics was "how does a kid with very little experience come up with this stuff?" Mick Jagger was 20 something when he wrote "you can't always get what you want...but if you try sometime you just might get what you need." Tortured artists who mature quicker than the rest of us? Pretty impressive to be young and see life as it is.

Second thought. If today was my last day what would I do? Although I love to run, I probably would not run if it was my last day. I would spend the day drinking wine with friends and eating all kinds of amazing, inspired foods. I would also have some Baskin & Robbins world class chocolate ice cream. And then I would want to give my money away to places that mattered to me. That is all I would want to do. 24 hours with the people that matter most. (If it was my last month or year I would definitely travel.)

Third thought. The list of things you would and would not do if you had 24 hours left are not really conducive to what is needed for a long life. We need to work and exercise and eat moderately and do some things that we prefer not to do. If I ate and drank and hung out with friends to the exclusion of all else, I would definitely not have a long life.

So although Chad has great and profound sentiment in his song we need to live with a balance of both long term plans, mixed with that last day, quality of experiences.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Madonna on Letterman

Madonna was on Letterman last night. Dave asked her if motherhood stood out as the greatest accomplishment on her list. Madonna hesitated then said, and I am paraphrasing as I cannot recall her exact words. I guess the socially acceptable answer to that question is yes. Always honest. Always controversial.

She risked being viewed as a 'bad' mother by not immediately gushing out a yes to that question. But I do not think she really cared. She loves and cares for her children, maybe excessively like the rest of us. But is it her greatest accomplishment? That is a tough list to top for Madonna.

She highlighted that motherhood is right up there on the list but that at any given time it may not be her number 1 accomplishment. We evaluate ourselves on so many different levels and so finding number 1 is a bit of of a nebulous exercise. Our children may challenge us so that at any given time the experience is not our list topper. In the end like Madonna if we love them intensely and care for their needs then there need not be a hierarchal list of accomplishments. There is no list. Dave was wrong.
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