To be able to measure your life with actionable metrics, you must know your personal mission and have strategies for it.
- Figure out what makes you tick. “The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” - Steve Jobs
- Develop your strategy. Until you have devised that personal career strategy with clear direction, maintain an emergent strategy. Your only other option is to be subject to what the world does with you. With that emergent strategy you have, - until you’ve discovered a deliberate strategy that your heart is set on - you will be constantly assessing opportunities that open up to you with the question, “what has to prove true for this to work?” You have to recognize how much you’re assuming to be able to pick apart plans and identify your greatest assumptions. The constant prioritizing of assumptions and testing them with research will guide you through the chaos to make your personally-forged path as direct as possible.
- Pay attention to what you’re actually doing, not what you think you’re doing. The deliberate career strategy of your heart will not necessarily be found where you say it will be, but will be found somewhere in what you actually do with your resources. Pay attention to where you actually spend your time, money, and energy. “…How you actually allocate your resources is where the rubber meets the road.”
Time proves that the perpetuating impact of your marriage and parenting will be a greater source of joy or pain than anything else in life. Committing to and investing in relationships will provide the most enduring and deepest sources of gratification in life. There are no relationships more intimate than marriage and children - prioritize these relationships above all others. If family is not an option for you, close friendships will still be your greatest source of happiness. The following are theories around which to pattern your relationships:
- The Ticking Clock. “When it seems like everything at home is going well, you will be lulled into believing that you can put your investments in these relationships into the back burner. That would be an enormous mistake. By the time the serious problems arise in those relationships, it often is too late to repair them. This means, almost paradoxically, that the time when it is most important to invest in building strong families and close friendships is when it appears, at the surface, as if it’s not necessary.”
- Identify the job to be done and do it. Identify what’s important to the people who mean the most to you and fill that job. Ask yourself often, “What job does my spouse need me to do?” … “ In sacrificing for something worthwhile, you deeply strengthen your commitment to it.
- Don’t Outsource Parenting. In the attempt to offer kids the best of everything, parents today outsource their parenting to a myriad of coaches, tutors, and teachers. Parents feel like they’re excelling by putting so many opportunities they never had into their kids’ schedules. While children have better opportunities available to them, now, “the end result of these good intentions for our children is that too few reach adulthood having been given the opportunity to shoulder onerous responsibility and solve complicated problems for themselves and for others.”
- Experiential Learning. Wisely-chosen experiential learning is one of the greatest gifts you can offer kids: “the natural tendency of many parents is to focus entirely on building your child’s resume: good grades, sports successes, and so on. It would be a mistake, however, to neglect the [experiences] your children need to equip them for the future.”
- Family Culture. Family culture equips children with standards and powerful decision-making capabilities. The things that kids know will make their parents say “well done” will be the autopilot that the parents created taking affect.