A few years back, my mentor Darren Hardy shared a life-changing insight that made an incredible impact on how I plan and prioritize things and manage my time, energy, and attention.
He advised making a subtle but powerful shift before proceeding with any kind of goal-setting. Darren said, before you build your business plan, make sure you build your life plan first.
So what does this mean? This advice basically suggests that you must go within and ask yourself some important questions.
Figure out what kind of life you want to have first:
- Where do you want to live?
- Do you want to be location-independent?
- What type of people do you want to surround yourself with?
- What kind of schedule do you want: structured or flexible?
- Do you want to work nights and weekends?
- Do you want to travel? If yes, how much and where?
- Do you want to be home for dinner every night?
- Do you want family around you?
- Do you want a short commute or no commute at all?
- What type of environment do you want to go to each day and how do you want to dress?
Ask yourself these questions, and gain some clarity about what you truly want. And then, build your business or professional plan around those criteria. Make your business plan fit your life plan, not the other way around.
Mind blown! I had been doing it all backward! And it’s sad to say that it’s not only me. Most of us, including Darren in his former years, have done exactly the opposite—we build our career or business plan first, outlining all our mighty goals, plans, and ambitions, and only then figure out how to fit other aspects of our life around that (usually sacrificing our relationships and family life in the process).
Time goes by and soon we reach the end of our lives and find out that we got our priorities all wrong. We paid too high a price of what was most valuable in life for too little.
Let go of being “normal,” and become a true exceptionalist. Don’t let the same fate happen to you; start working towards finding the right balance for you and your dreams and desires.