As listed in previous posts, I decided to start this project by creating a baseline for my life and then developing a set of goals to work towards in improving my life. Going in, I honestly presumed that I would find that I needed to improve in certain areas, only to immediately realize that I had been approaching the situation from the wrong angle.
A bit tubby
| OK… surprisingly
(update: Not OK)
|Sometimes bar with friends
|Able to support things I like to do…
As you can see from the chart above, I broke my life down into three areas: Health, Wealth, and Life (Which would be basically all the stuff I do when not at work – if you have a better idea for the name of that category, please leave it in the comments below). Health is pretty straightforward, and I am certainly thankful for that. There will be a separate post on the state of my overall fitness (spoiler alert: Houston, we have a problem there too) and how I will seek to improve that. Then I moved on to my income and again there will be a separate post on that, although it certainly wasn’t as bad as I initially expected. Update: Yes, it’s pretty bad. Bad enough that it will be it’s own Houston we have a problem post. However, moving on to the LIFE category, I immediately recognized a serious issue. And most importantly, one that I could start correcting right now.
The only reason I realized this was because I took the time to write this down (well, type it out). I was easily able to fill in the boxes for Health and Wealth (granted they are fairly easy to measure), but when it came to LIFE, I struggled to put anything at all into the box. Long story short, when it came to life, I wasn’t living mine. Sure I was getting up in the morning, doing the things required, going to work, etc., but I was basically doing the tasks required of me by other people.
So I then tried to envision what my life would look like after I won the lottery. Yes, I completely stole this concept from Office Space. If you haven’t seen Office Space, and you work in an Office, you should watch it. Here is the scene in question:
In this regard, I would not do ‘nothing’. And, to be completely honest, if I won a million dollars I probably would keep my job, and keep earning more. That will be covered in the Wealth post, a completely separate topic. But the concept is the same. The current Powerball is a $149 Million dollar prize. Would I keep my job if I won that? What would I do? That is legitimately enough money that I could do whatever I wanted. So that is how I tried to fill in the ‘Future Life’ box in my chart. Unconstrained by money, what would I do on an average day, or an average week? How would I stay busy? Would I become a cut-rate version of Dan Bilzerian? One thing I can say for certain is I would not grow a beard. I look terrible with a beard. I’ve had one. It was really a mess. That’s also how I know I’ll never be an Operator. No beard.
I will spare you the photos of me with a beard, mainly because they are super embarrassing, and I really hate them.
Ok, enough about beards, back to the original goal of this post – upgrading my life.
After I filled in the ‘Post-Lotto Life’ box, and then I looked at the ‘Current Life’ box, I realized a critical mistake I had made. I was waiting for some other set of conditions to exist before I started living the best life I could. Looking at the list of things that I wanted to do, very few of them required winning the lottery. Yes, true, I like to ski, and if I win the lottery I will ski in the Swiss Alps. However, I do not need to win the lottery to go skiing. How many times have I gone skiing in the last 5 years? Twice. Two times. Once in 2012, and once in 2017.
I like live music. How many concerts have I seen in the last three years? Two. If I start throwing in smaller bands in small venues five. Now, I do like going to smaller venues to see smaller bands. However, I cannot say that I’m even doing that very often.
I do like cars, and track days (High-Performance Driving Events). There is one area where money is an absolute requirement, so I really won’t beat myself up over doing only a few of those.
I have not been maximizing my time. I haven’t been doing the things that I wanted to do, and it took me writing it down to figure that out. Next step: Start maximizing my time. Now. I recommend you do the same.