Sometimes I run across one of my Quora answers again at a later date. I saw this one, and it hit me in the gut:
Q: How Could Someone Have it All and Still be Unhappy?
A: Because no matter how good it is, you can always focus on something that isn't perfect or doesn't match your expectations, and that is called ultimate failure in life. You want to know what I believe success is. Success is creating consistent pleasure in your life, and causing yourself to grow. Failure is being able to find pain, no matter how good it is.
The reason it hit me is that I do have it all. There's enough money in the bank that I don't have to worry about food and shelter for quite some time. I have four amazing, adorable children, and I include in that my 18 year old, who has been older than I am for years. I'm really smart. People love me. I make a huge difference in people's lives.
Here's the thing, for all I have, I too often look at what I missed, at what I am not, at what I wished I could be, maybe even had the chance to be, but somehow blew it.
And then I imagine even bigger things. And I say to myself that those are too big, probably beyond me, and if I put them out there, I'm just going to fail again, and it's bad enough when I fail myself. And I really don't want to deal with the public version of that.
So I kind of form a plan in my head. I sometimes I even write it down. But I don't share it with anyone. That way, I don't have to be responsible for keeping my word. Because, you know, it's bad enough to lie to yourself, but to show yourself as a liar to others, that's another thing.
I think this is why so many New Year's Resolutions go to pot. We say things like “I'm going to get up earlier,” “I'm going to quit (your special vice).” But everyone knows most don't get kept, and so when we don't get to the gym, we give ourselves a pass, and start to know ourselves as the people who don't really believe what they say to themselves, and let our excuses take over.
What's missing is a plan, and accountability. So I'll start with last year's vision (for full post, see Creating 2016: You Must Know Why):
Visit with three of my cousins: Because I miss them and I want to be more connected to my family.
Outing with Sharleen once a week: Because a relationship is either growing or dying, and we have a lot more fun when we are growing ours.
Outing with family at least once a month: Because they are growing up too fast and if we don’t make the moments now, we will miss them.
Landmark: Connect with humanity’s good side, time with Sharleen
Altucher Podcasts: Remind me of bigness of people and what we can create
Political Activism: Remind me there is another conversation, and that all change starts with just one person.
200 lbs. (91 kg.): Feel Good about myself; believe I can; be faster
Sugar, smoke and Coffee free: Live longer, be thinner, no headaches, indicator that I’m excited about life.
Politics: Being connected makes me feel better
10k a month: Know that I can; Generate Belief in Myself
Help five people build their business: Validate that I can; make a difference
Buy three new pieces of Real Estate: Because I love to build stuff
Politics: Because I want to rock the world and turn this into my profession at some point.
Finish Alfred’s Book 2, Guitar Book 1, Accordion Book 2, Mandolin 1: Bring Music into the World, get good at something, demonstrate that a little work consistently, over a long time will make something much better.
Build our House: I like to create and build.
I did make a lot of progress in a number of these areas, which I celebrate: I saw a whole bunch of my cousins, along with an uncle and aunt, who have since passed. Sharleen and I have recreated our relationship, and are having a lot more fun again. Landmark events are our date nights, though that wasn't exactly what I intended. We've also started taking walks in the evenings together. We didn't get out with the kids as regularly as planned, but did create family in other ways. We spent more time with Sharleen's mom. We spent three weeks with my parents and sisters. Sharleen had multiple birthday parties and I collected a book of blessings and remembrances for her from people whose lives she has touched.
I haven't smoked since March, I am much better about the sugar. I've lost weight (10 to 15 pounds; I wish I'd measured before so I know exactly how much). I am reconsidering the coffee, understanding that there are benefits to keeping it around. I've brought some weight training into my life. I've listened to a whole bunch of really great podcasts, have had enough of them for the moment, and have become wiser. I've also read a bunch of great books.
Our house is behind schedule, but is still on track, and I haven't advanced on the music front as I'd have liked, but have progressed. I've missed all my marks on the business, probably because I've tried to do too much in too many different directions. We can call that a lack of focus, given by too fuzzy/fluid a plan.
I wrote an e-book, available at Manning Up: An Easy to Follow Guide to Get You Back in the Relationship Game, have answered a few thousand questions on Quora, and have had more than 240,000 views of those answers, mostly in the area of dating and relationships.
You might have noticed what was missing is a plan. I got a lot done. I have what to celebrate, but I let slide (again) the financial side. I'm sure I still tell myself all sorts of s*&% about money, but I also think if I had a plan, and stuck to it, the conversations with myself just wouldn't have the same purchase.
So the opportunity now is to recreate my goals, put down the why, and then calendar it so I don't need to think about today because my calendar is already telling me what I plan to do.
I'm in the process of that, and will have it complete shortly. Pieces of it are in place, but I need to get the whole picture down. That's the plan for this week.
If you want to create your own plan, schedule a consultation, and we'll make this year miraculous for you as well: