My 6 Life Focuses

 

The basics of what keep me motivated and moving forward are deceptively simple and easy to relate in just six main points of focus.

1. Increase self-reliance

It’s important to me that I’m able to operate without crutches as much as possible, and things like dependencies and addictions get in the way of having a fully-developed, internalized ‘living mechanism’ that can get you through anything and help you achieve whatever you want to achieve.

To that end, I aim to make sure that I’m always on the path to greater self-reliance, and as a result, self-confidence, so that other people and things in my life can be happy additions — rather than desperately sought-after saviors — to my lifestyle.

2. Increase personal freedom

Freedom can mean a lot of different things to different people, but to me it represents options.

Being financially independent and physically capable person gives me the option of traveling full time, and right now I’m exercising that option. I also have the freedom to stop traveling, should I want to, and to open up a restaurant or become a clown or spend my life in a library, paging through ancient manuscripts for no other reason than ‘I want to.’

In my mind, personal freedom is the gateway to evolution: it gives you the time and excuse to do whatever, whenever. That’s a powerful thing. As such, I do all I can to remove anything from my life that hinders my personal freedom.

3. Continue personal evolution

Some people (myself included) have wondered aloud if I am addicted to change. I would say that ‘addicted’ is probably too strong a word, but I do enjoy it, and what I love most about change is that it allows you to grow as a person, and sometimes by leaps and bounds.

My personal development is important to me because I remember I time in my life when I plateau’d, and it was the only time I’ve ever been utterly discontented and somewhat depressed. The static-nature of my existence was a weight on my mind and well-being.

These days, on the other hand, I have the ability to immediately put into practice what I learn and to try out new versions of myself whenever I like, which makes me happier than just about anything else I’ve encountered thus far. This in mind, I make it a key part of my everyday mission to continue to grow and change and evolve as much as possible, and as quickly as possible.

4. Learn more about more

The pursuit of knowledge is important to me, and being a ridiculously curious person I’m incredibly fulfilled when I’m learning new things; expanding my mental-map of how the universe works and where each and every detail is pinned on that big picture.

To this end, I spend a great deal of my time reading all kinds of things about all kinds of fields, talking to folks who know things I don’t know, and trying my hand at different professions and skill sets in an effort to better understand how it all fits together. Perspective is also key, as being able to see the world from new angles gives me the ability to solve problems before they become problems.

Learning more about more also makes me happy, and increases my ability to evolve, which in turn increases my level of personal freedom.

5. Maximize value created

In everything I do, I see opportunities to increase efficiencies and effectiveness. It’s a fun game I play with myself to see how far I can push to get greater gains in this area, but it’s also a goal that allows me to create more value with less effort; a habit that bears all kinds of fruit.

I see value creation as a ratio: I spend x amount of time to create y units of value. My goal is to increase x:y, so that less effort is required to create more value (for example, I could spend 1 hour creating 1 blog post — 1:1 — or I could spend 10 hours writing 1 ebook which contains 100 times more value than a blog post; 1:10).

This gives me more personal freedom, of course, but it also gives me the ability to create excess value which I’m then able to give away, increasing the quality of other peoples’ lives and my community (the world) for the better in some small way. In my mind, both of these outcomes are equally important, as benefiting myself is good for the short term, while benefiting other people is a solid investment (for me and for everyone else) in the long term.

6. Have fun, always

In my mind, life without fun — even an incredibly successful life — is a little pointless. Sure, there are other biological drives you can give in to, and you could become fulfilled by dominating your career or having kids or whatnot, and that’s cool if that’s what you want.

But for me, there’s little point to accomplishment if part of what you’re accomplishing isn’t ‘having a good time.’

The way I see it is this: you have exactly one life in which to do everything you’ve ever wanted to do. After those 100-or-so years, you’ve got nothing…everything you’ve done will eventually be forgotten, and everything you’ve built will be gone. But even so, if you can look back at your life while on your death bed and say ‘You know what, I had one hell of a good time,’ you’ve accomplished a level of success much greater than some tycoon or politician or baby-daddy.

Find what makes you happy and figure out a way to do more of it. Bonus points if you can help others do the same along the way.

21 comments

  1. Totally agree with your points, is very important to have some important goals in life past “living the dream”. Self improvement is the actual key to happiness and having a life worth living. Cheers.

  2. What great things to live for. I think people often love the freedoms afforded them, but shackle themselves to things that just hold them back.

  3. It’s awesome that you know these things about yourself.

    It’s interesting that you have thought the phrase “addicted to change.” I think a similar thing about myself… Ever since we learned about transient heat conduction in class (heat transfer is a function of length, but also of time) I’ve started to think about how I don’t mind transience… in fact I quite like it. The times where I’m the most *blah* are times when I feel I’m stuck in a rut and have my entire life planned out in front of me.

    I also like the phrase “Maximize value created” because that appeals to my engineering-y brain.

  4. Nice mate. The best line: “After those 100-or-so years, you’ve got nothing”. Hell, fucking, yeah.

  5. I love this. This is true for me, as well. When you have one from the mix, it’s great, but when you have all of them going for you, life is awesome. Increase self-reliance and personal freedom are big for me. When I was living in Spain on my own for 5 months and when I was backpacking around the East Coast for 2 months, I felt like I had a lot of personal freedom and I was very much relying on myself. It made me more confident, more self-assured — I felt like I could do anything. My crutch was myself — it felt exhilarating and freeing. I was constantly pushing my comfort zone, but it was easier, exciting and fun because I didn’t have anything else or anybody to hold me back — it was just me and the people I met and made connections with. Which gives me a glimpse of how you may feel since you travel and explore so often. That’s awesome. :)

  6. You should do a blog post on what you actually do to be able to afford to travel full time. Like where your clients are based, how did you notify them of your travels etc

  7. I think I’ve written on that topic a few times in the past, but I’m happy to do an updated post!

  8. Yeah would be great as I have started my own business called Mobile Media Savvy but still want to travel and I am aiming to take at least a month next year to view europe but would like to make money while I am travelling

  9. I like what you said about a hundred or something years. I told my friend recently that we only really live up to when we’re 40. Then we start living for other people. I feel like the time is ticking

  10. I’m feeling no. 6. I’m just finishing a business that I’ve run for 10 years as it’s no longer any fun. There’s no point running your own business if you become a slave to it.

  11. I love your list. It strikes a chord with me as I might be addicted to change and your points are all goals of mine. I love variety and adventure and the pursuit of life long learning. It’s a wonderful life. I want to see everything. Thanks for the thought provoking list.

    Nikki

    http://travellerinoz.blogspot.com/

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  13. “But even so, if you can look back at your life while on your death bed and say ‘You know what, I had one hell of a good time,’ you’ve accomplished a level of success much greater than some tycoon or politician or baby-daddy.”

    So true. I think about this a lot when I try to make decisions in life. My life is my own: not my parents, my fiancé, my friends or society. And as much as I can, I try to live as close to my authentic self as possible. It’s been one hell of a journey so far but I hope that I find what I’m looking.

    Great post!

  14. Ha ha! I chose to have kids…not sure why….I guess I just wanted to make sure there’s someone there for me when I’m old :-) I am still trying to figure out how to “always have fun” with it! It’s funny…they are little pranksters, so you can’t get your heart set on doing anything “productive”. But if you can go with their jokes, there is always fun to be had. As a stay at home mom, I guess my job description is “Have fun”! I recently painted those words “Always Have Fun” on my daughter’s wall. Just to remind me to keep perspective when it’s time for me to get her dressed. That is never as easy as you think it should be…

    • Might I add…having kids is not just a job you can “quit” if you feel unfulfilled.(Well you can, but that is doing the world a huge disservice!) In that way, I suppose it that it is one of the most challenging growth experiences I have ever undertaken. I am extremely lucky that I don’t have to worry about making money at the same time as performing my 24/7 very demanding unpaid job. That at least frees me up to really enjoy them. Currently, I am working on figuring out a meaningful way to travel with them and educate them through experience.

      • Take a look at some of the mobile families that are traveling the world with kids for inspiration: familyonbikes.org, soultravelers3.com, mylittlenomads.com to name a few. Lots of families out there doing something like that, however, so take a look around and I’m sure you’ll find a model similar to what you’re looking for (then start up a blog and tell others how YOU did it!).

        Love that you have ‘Always Have Fun’ painted on your daughter’s wall!

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