“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination”
I’ve been told.
I’ve been told to make a plan, stick to it, and make it happen. I’ve been told to set a goal, set a date, and watch it come true.
I’ve been told to not set a goal. I’ve been told to let your course change as you go.
I just learned today that Christopher Columbus sailed in a Westerly direction. He didn’t sail for a destination, but he aimed in the direction of one.
How do we know which way to sail?
Do things you love.
I’m happy when I’m doing things I love. When I’m happy I help others. I bring them up. In order to help others, you need to help you. But how do we help ourselves?
Follow your passion pursuit. This means becoming an expert in everything you love. Chances are, if you really enjoy doing something, you will not only have an easier time excelling at it, but you will enjoy setting aside time, each day, to polish your skills at doing the things you love.
When you’re doing things you love you are re-energizing yourself. Every time you do something you love, you invest in yourself. You make yourself a better you. Ultimately you create an endless circle of productivity within your passion.
So why not do things we love all the time?
Sounds simple doesn’t it. I’ve found that one of my hugest struggles is getting over “doing things at the right time”. Too often, I convince myself that “if I only set aside a chunk of time later this week” or “if I only plan to give myself half a day to focus on this tomorrow”, then I could do things better; like bang out this design project, or write a blog post. What really happens is that I miss out on valuable time. I miss out on opportunities.
When I think about this perspective in terms of business, I laugh. If entrepreneurs always waited for the “right time” there would be no such terms as “beta version” or “MVP”. Everyone would wait to pull the red curtain to unveil their perfectly finished product. We know this isn’t the case. We know this doesn’t work. It makes most sense to strip your product down to the bones and get it out there, while its “hot”.
So What Do We Do?
1. Start at the core. Find what works for you.
Starting at the core is essential. I’ve done this with my mobile startup. I’ve done it so well I still get squeamish explaining the raw functionality of it to users. But why haven’t I done this in my life?
I downloaded the app Lift after reading this article about practicing habits daily to make them stick. For those of you who have Lift, it’s pretty effing awesome to hit that big ? mark and watch it turn bright green, right?! So awesome, it makes you want to add tons of habits just so you can check them off every night.
Well that’s what I did. Except. I didn’t reap the satisfaction of checking them all off. I failed to even check half of them off. I wondered where I went wrong.
I failed at going to bed by Midnight. I even failed at going to bed by 1 am. That was my back up. How did that happen?
I broke it down and when I looked at the days I failed, I recalled where my time was allocated those nights…Finished the book “Life is What I say it Is” …Fine-tuned a blog post …Added a “Feel Good Box” to my website…
All these things were pretty awesome. I don’t regret doing them. And I’m not sorry about going to bed late. My creative juices were flowing and I had just enough ambition to complete these projects and share them with the world, fresh out of the creative oven.
I found a flaw in the habits I set up for myself. Flaw #1: I was I trying to do too much at once. Flaw #2: I was trying to do things that didn’t benefit me. Maybe going to bed early helps you get up at the crack of dawn, eat a healthy breakfast and jump on the early train for work. But for me, grinding away into the wee hours of the night helps me clear my head, narrow in on my focus, and crush life. I realized I needed to start making habits that worked for me. That benefitted me.
Strict schedules work for some people while others need more flexibility. Goal setting benefits some people, yet others find them limiting.
Find what works for you. There’s a million resources out there, a million different ways to be productive, to be efficient, to hit Beast Mode. Find the habits that benefit you. Stick to them. If they’re not working, change them. It’s your life. Your productivity. Your dreams on the line. Take control.
2. Identify your values & reflect on them
I thought back to my list of values. Connecting– feeling connected to people positively. Family, friends–> embracing human qualities, laughter, trust, love, listening and feeling passionate…Continued Growth– being a student of life, helping others and being around others that elevate me, meeting new people, opening up to new experiences……
When I zoned in on these I asked why I came up with them in the first place. What they meant and how they helped. I realized that my end goal in life is to achieve success. And success to me is valued by happiness. These values are what brings me happiness. Living parallel with these values, letting them be injected into my life, into my business, is what propels me on my path towards success.
To stick to my values, and stay true to myself, I reflect. I reflect on my wants and needs as a person, my dreams and goals. I do the things that will help get me there. These change over time. That’s okay.
The more you continue to pursue the choices that resonate with your values, the more you will continue on your path to success.
This is what I call, the “passion pursuit”.
3. No more waiting around. “Do You. Do it Now.”
A new habit for me is to not let perfect be the enemy of “good enough”. By waiting around I miss my chances. I have a draft sitting in my GMail to an investor in California. I’m scared to send it as is. I’m scared it’s not good enough. But you know what’s worse? Mhhm– Him not receiving anything. One way to kick the habit is to make things public. Share everything you’re up to with your “cluster of comfort”. You’ll end up completing tasks earlier because you have committed to them publicly to friends and family. It’s time I start not only doing things I love, but start doing them now.
Life’s too short to only live out your dreams for a small duration of it. Do what you love. Do it now. Do it all the time.
And on that note– I’ve just completed my Indiegogo campaign to get my butt to Under30Experiences Nicaragua to make a positive difference globally. Check it out.
Is “waiting for the right time” something you struggle with?
When was the last time you did something you love?
Kevin J. Diamond lives eccentrically, empowering people on their passion pursuit. He is the Founder & CEO of Squirr3l.com a mobile social network that lets you connect w/out connecting moment to moment. He is an aspiring +DifferenceMaker. www.kevinjdiamond.com Twitter @kevinjdiamond
Image Credit: Kayla Bellanca
Image Credit: http://msmoem.com