A few weeks ago, my wife and I attended a fancy brunch to celebrate a friend’s 40th birthday. Between mimosas, the feted one was asked how she felt about being in her dreaded 40s.
“Fantastic, actually…I’ve decided to treat this as my decade of self-improvement”.
Although she didn’t specify what she intended to improve, I thought it was a great answer. And it made me think…about goals, plans, priorities, and how we measure success. More than anything, I thought about how we engage in a lot of goal-setting and planning in our work-related lives. By contrast, we seldom look inward and apply a rational planning process to our personal, “global” lives, of which work is merely a component part. We think in terms of career trajectories, but allow our overall existence to meander along a random goat path.
Odd, don’t you think? Considering this is our only life, I think we have it completely backwards. We should identify a set of overarching, core priorities, and then work outward from there. Work would probably be relegated to nothing more than a subordinate, enabling sub-plan.
In a past life, I had a job that involved all sorts of planning, and along the way I was exposed to some really useful tools. I’ll share some of this in subsequent posts. But before we get into it, there’s a fundamental consideration at the heart of it all:
What does it mean to live well?