If I’ve seen you in person in the past couple of weeks, you probably know that I am reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
There is a reason why this book has been around so long. It’s really, really good. It’s full of all the good advice that you’re not following. And the beauty of this book is that it discusses all of those things that are just so obvious but that you don’t do (e.g. if you want to achieve goals you need to have clear idea of what those goals are) in a way that actually makes you want to do them.
What I have been struggling a bit with (although there has been notable improvement) is putting any of these good ideas into practice today, or yesterday or the day before that. See, right now there is a lot going on and it’s just not good timing, and next week/month/year it will be a lot easier to clear the decks and get that under control.
See what I mean?
But today a thought occurred to me which, even though it is just plain old obvious, really seems to help me scale the idea that “this is the first day of the rest of your life”.
I need to think about today as if it’s every day in my life.
Q. Did today consist of the things that I want to be doing every day of my life?
Q. Did today look the way I want my life to look like?
I don’t think it was just the concept that resonated, but the particular phrasing at the particular moment – so it might just sound like another meaningless fridge magnet to you. But what I’m loving about this is that the answers aren’t necessarily bad – it’s just a really clarifying way of checking whether I’m living according to the bigger picture I have of what my life is going to be about. See, I still write “going to be about” as if the real stuff is going to kick in over the next year or so.
Of course, no one wants every day of their life to be the same. And of course there will be days when you have to do a load of horrible things that you don’t want to be doing – but this question makes it much easier to see if those horrible things are on my agenda for an important reason or whether I’ve just gone a bit off course.
Have you read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People?