I have been teaching MBAs for 5 years and am often asked over a coffee a question on the general theme of “what should I do with my life?” or “how can I be a success?” to which I feel hugely underqualified to provide answers. I have spent time reflecting on my own life (not a great source of wisdom) and speaking with lots of friends, colleagues and wise-seeming individuals (a great source of wisdom). I have compiled a list of 17 daily habits that are common to the people who reach the end of their life, look back and say “I would be happy to do much the same again”.
I was hesitant to share this material as I feel unqualified to talk about it (only half way through the average human lifespan, not yet a billionaire). I showed it to my father a couple of days ago, only to discover the next day that he had passed it on to the boards of 3 global companies, some successful authors, some highly successful people… and they came back saying that this was inspiring and “challenging stuff”. I thank my father for doing what I was scared to do – share this stuff.
The list is below and the full document is available if you want here on Google Documents.
- Goal setting (Dreams to Goals to Actions)
- Time Management
- Fit mind and body
- Personal vision (What on Earth am I here for?)
- Integrity – build trust
- Personal finances in order
- Good social life
- Strong relationships with partner, family and kids
- Resilience (Head in the sky, feet on the ground)
- Self motivation
- Self acceptance
- Attracts and uses mentors and advisors
- Is open and seeks coaching
- Giving with intention
- Gets others to do stuff
- Sets aside time for reflection
I would appreciate your reactions in the comments (here) and this really is a work in progress to which I would love to see how we use the web 2.0 tools (facebook, twitter, linkedin) to collaborate and develop this material.
I have another question – how do you get people to change their habits? Some of the early readers of this material said “really enjoyed reading this piece, but it is a bit like january resolutions-the new diet is a great idea but it is very hard to stop eating the things we like”. If it is not a book, if it is not a course, if it is not new year’s resolutions… what does it really take to allow someone to reach an aha moment and implement change in their life (I need this answer more than most for my own life, I might have this list, but every day I am challenged to find the discipline to live it).