Episode 28: Seven Minutes To Success And Satisfaction: Doing What Matters, Well
In this episode Mark Michael Lewis of RationalSpirituality.com explores a fundamental attitude and realization to inspire you to make choices today that you will be ecstatic to inherit tomorrow.
Hi, this is Mark Michael Lewis, host of Money Mission and Meaning, Passion at Work, Purpose at Play, and you're listening to another edition of Seven Minutes To Success And Satisfaction, a series of short, to the point and practical ideas to help you Create Pleasure and Profit in the Business of life.
This week, let's talk about a fundamental attitude at the heart of creating greater success and satisfaction in our lives, which I like to summarize as "Doing What Matters, Well."
Because the truth is, you're going to get good at something in life, many things in fact. Wherever you invest your time and your attention you're going to get better at whenever that is. The question is only, what is it that you are going to get good at? It might be video games or it might be video editing. It might be following a particular sport or team, or playing a sport. It might be watching the most entertaining television shows, or working in the entertainment industry. But whatever you repeatedly do, wherever you invest your time and attention, you'll get better at.
Let's break it down into 3 fundamental principles, that, when you remember them, can guide you in some of the choices you make on a daily basis. Principle # 1, we just covered, namely: 1) you're going to get good as something.
So here is principle #2) you get to choose what you get good at. I know, this isn't rocket science, these are fundamentals. However, it often the fundamentals that require the most conscious effort to remember, because they are so simple. So far reaching. So, again, you get to choose what you get good at in life. You can choose how you invest your time, what you invest your time in, and therefore what skills and insights you will cultivate. There might be 3000 commercials a day trying to get you to invest your time and cash into whatever they are selling, but you get to choose how you use the moments of your life.
If you wanted to, you could learn to speak German, or build websites, or become an expert at communication and relationships. Sure, it would take focus and work and attention, and time and effort and probably even some cash, but it can also be fun and fascinating and rewarding at each step of the journey.
And remember, principle #1) says that you’re going to get good at something, so principle #2) reminds you that you get to choose just WHAT you get good at, which leads to
Principle #3) If you get good at something that tangibly and positively improves the quality of your life, you win. Again, it’s fundamental, so it is easy to forget. When I work with life coaching clients, nearly half of everything we do is about getting them to remember and focus on getting good at the things that will measurably improve the quality of their lives, or, as I like to say - Doing What Matters, Well. Because when you get good at the foundation parts of your life, such as how you earn and manage Money, how well you clarify and live out your Mission in the world, and the Meaning you make about yourself, your relationships, and your life as a whole, when you get good at these fundamentals, then each moment of your life becomes more satisfying.
The trick is to remember these fundamentals, which is not necessarily easy. Organizations selling the latest gadgets, political philosophies, religion, entertainment spend literally 10's of billions of dollars each year to try to capture and focus your attention on their products. Some of the best and brightest minds in the world are using their talents to leverage some of the most advanced psychological and physical technologies ever invented to get you to invest your time and money into their agenda.
In the face of this, if you want to make sure that you choose to get good at something that tangibly and positively improves the quality of your life, it will take time, discipline, and attention on your part. The good news is, you can do it. The truth is, you can accomplish far more than you likely give yourself credit for. All it takes is a little focus, and little discipline THROUGH TIME, and you can get good at the things at the things that you need to in order to make your dreams a reality. As the saying goes - the main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing.
AND, as you have already figured out, there is truth in the expression: “Good things take time.” In order to get really good at something, so good that the results that you create are inspiring to both yourself and others (including having people pay you lots of money to do it) you need to consistently invest your time and attention into it over an extended period of time so that the compound interest of everything that are learning can begin to work its magic. Remember, most people radically overestimate what they can accomplish in six months, but radically underestimate what they can accomplish in six years. The truth is, six years from now, you will arrive at wherever you are. Your life may look completely different and it does now for better or worse. And the difference will be what you chose to get good at.
So, I want to leave you with two things that people find helpful in the process of increasingly Doing What Matters, Well: a metaphor and a question.
First, a metaphor that involves what I like to call your temporal inheritance, or the inheritance that you leave for yourself at a future point in time. One way of thinking about your life is that this morning, when you will woke up, you inherited the life that you get to live. Some of what you've inherited didn't really have much to do if you, such as the fact that you're living in the 21st century ad, or that you are born into our particular family, or that you have the particular genetic makeup you do. However, most of the actual life that you inherit when you wake up each morning is the result of the choices that the "you" in the past has made. The relationships you have, the clothes you wear, the books you read (or don’t read) the career skills you've developed, etc.
So, as you examine your inheritance, here is a tough question. Are you thankful for the choices that the You of yesterday and last year has made the has led to your inheritance today? Now, immediately, I want you to know, you should be grateful. Even if your inheritance, in your mind, stinks, let's be very clear, it could be much worse. If you're in a situation where you're listening to this audio, you have pretty much hit the lottery of opportunity and wealth in human history. As bad as it is, most people throughout time would envy your situation and your choices. It's important to remember that.
The point of this exercise is not to judge the choices of your past, although there is much that you can learn from in your previous choices. The point is about the future. Right now, I want you to recognize that tomorrow, six months from now and six years from now there's a future "you" that will be waking up to and inheriting the reality that you create through your choices today, and tomorrow, and the next day.
So that's the metaphor. Here's the question: "When you wake up as that future you some morning in the future, and you look back at the choices you've made, will you be thankful that the You of the past (of today), chose to get good at something that made a tangible positive improvement in the quality of your life inheritance?" Remember, today is the day to get clear, built a plan, and act on it. Now is the moment of power. Your future self is literally depending on you to create an inheritance that empowers them to live a life of success and satisfaction. Take a moment now intend to think about that future self and it's inheritance, and get good at something worth getting good act, and do what matters well.
I’m Mark Michael Lewis, host of Money Mission and Meaning, Passion at Work, Purpose at Play, and this was Seven Minutes To Success And Satisfaction, providing you practical tools to Create Pleasure and Profit in the Business of life.
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