Are you focusing on the wrong things?
We work 10 or 12 hours a day while juggling a neverending stream of errands, activities, social appointments, tweeting, Facebooking, and Google Plussing. All while trying to stay healthy and have some semblance of work-life balance.
No wonder depression in the United States is at an all-time high.
Modern technology is seductive. The promise of an efficient melding of human and machine processes convinces us that we can juggle everything without sacrificing our health, our relationships, or our sanity.
Living agile is as much about what you don’t let into your life as it is about what you include in it.
You have to scrutinize anything that obligates you to do things you wouldn’t otherwise do:
- Why am I doing this?
- Is this making me a better person?
- Is this going to help me lead a more fulfilling life?
- Will I even care about this ten years from now?
In the United States, we pay plenty of lip service to work-life balance, but how many of us are actually living it?
We confuse necessities with things you can live without. We fall into the trap of homeownership because cultural rules equate owning a home with growing up. The Paradox of Intelligence leads the best of us to give up more and more control of our time and efforts.
The key to breaking out of this trap is perspective.
How to Get Lifetime Achievements
Deleting activities and obligations from your lifestyle frees you to pursue that business idea you’ve always wanted to try, or learn that skill you’ve always had an interest in, or write that great novel that you’ve always had in you.
I call these Lifetime Achievements.
A Lifetime Achievement brings you a lasting sense of accomplishment.
Lifetime Achievements are not easy to do. They don’t give you the short-term dopamine fix of shopping or eating out. They take time. They take attention. They take sacrifice.
It’s easy to get distracted by our everyday routines and mundane tasks.
That’s why most people never accomplish anything worthy of a Lifetime Achievement award.
But at the end of your life, are you more likely to remember that novel you wrote and that business you started?
Or are you going to remember the extra twenty hours a week you spent chained to your desk to get that raise?
Simplicity is doing less of what you don’t care about to do more of the things you love.
Are you on track to accomplish a Lifetime Achievement?
Image by Dave_B_.