Alright. We’re going talk about habit number one of my book Your Oxygen Mask First – Living an Amazing Life. The question is:
How good are you at enjoying life in tandem with your achievements in business?
A great quote here is, “Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it that you can.” What we know, for sure, is that we have today, and the next few minutes, to enjoy our life. What happens tomorrow or in a decade or a century, we’ll find out when we get there. The idea of this chapter is to make sure that you fully enjoy your life along with your achievements.
A lot of times people get so focused on achievements that they forget life. Your business can be very addictive, it can be very exciting, it can be very, very rewarding, but a successful business or career alone doesn’t really lead you to a great life.
Unfortunately, some people make these promises to themselves, “When/Then.”
When I’m older, or when I make a million, or 10 million, or a hundred million or a billion, then I’ll start enjoying life. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work so well because the habits you’re building in your 20s, in your 30s, in your 40s become how you live your life in your 50s, in your 60s, in your 70s.
Are You Enjoying Life?
To help you understand whether you need to work on this principle or not, ask yourself if you rate your current enjoyment of life at less than nine out of 10.
Here are the five questions to consider, to help you understand whether you need to work on this principle or not.
- Do you rate your current enjoyment of life at less than nine out of 10?
- Would you feel that you had used your life well if it all ended today or tomorrow?
- Do you tend to use your passion for work and have little left for the rest of your life?
- Is it normal for you to look forward to things in your life?
- Do you often find yourself saying or thinking, “woulda, coulda, shoulda”?
The root distinction in this chapter is about the head versus the heart, or what we call achievement versus enjoyment. Head success, as I have talked about, is very seductive: it feeds the ego, and it makes you feel good. For example, we’re a big company and we had a 150 million in revenue, or 500 million, or a billion or even your first million. There’s a sense of pride and worth that comes out of these achievements, and it feels really, really good.
On the other side of it is the heart, and the things that make you feel good inside – and those are the things that you enjoy in your personal passions or the quality time that you have with your family. The idea is to make sure that you have both. And personally, if you go and make a billion or 10 billion dollars but you’re really not enjoying your life, odds are you’re going to end your life with regret, and for me that’s a real shame.
Key point: if you don’t make time to enjoy what you achieve, your life might look great, but it’s not going to feel great.
The challenge for this chapter is to complete what we call the amazing memories thread. Look back to some of your biggest accomplishments, your best memories, and look at what the head part of that achievement was and the heart part – or the enjoyment part – of that achievement. Many achievements have both, and the best have both. But I want you to go back and think about those biggest achievements, and what they gave your head, and your heart.
When you go and get to the last chapter of the book, which talks about plan, plan and plan again, you’ll see on the master plan, there’s a whole section, in the middle, that addresses this head versus heart success. In that tool, it has you think about the ultimate in your lifetime in both work, self, and life. And it has you answer three questions in each category:
- What is it you want to achieve?
- What is it you want to enjoy?
- What is it you want to be remembered for?
Personally, I find this a lot easier than thinking about your purpose or your why. Those things are excellent, but these three simple questions seem to be a bit easier to access and get into.
I challenge you to read the chapter, to do the exercises in the book if this really resonates with you.