I am a big believer of systems. I have created systems to run the company I work for. It makes much more sense to use pre-established rules than to rely on emotions such as motivation alone. But the use of these rules should not be an excuse to not-think. We must always remember what we are trying to accomplish. When I was thinking of life as a system I tried to break it down into as simplistic a perspective as possible. If you think hard enough you’ll realize that for the majority of us our goal in life is to be happy. Happiness might mean different things to different people but the ultimate goal for most is happiness, however they might define it. When I dug a little deeper on the key factors that influence happiness in life, this is what I came up with:
1. Health – Without Health we can’t do anything effectively. If we are unhealthy, most of our physical and mental energy goes into making ourselves feel better, leaving us little to no energy to do anything useful with our time.
2. Relationships – Happiness shared is happiness multiplied. If you don’t have family, friends, colleagues or acquaintances to share your joys and sorrows with then you are likely to live a very lonely life. In fact research shows that those who socialize live longer.
3. Work – Since work is something which takes up most of our life it has a crucial impact on happiness. The work you do should be lucrative and intellectually stimulating to make you feel a sense of achievement. At the end of the day, it is your responsibility to give yourself a sense of purpose and self-worth.
4. Study – The one future we all face irrespective of how we live our lives is that of death. Whether you like it or not we all will die one day and there is nothing we can do about it. That means that our time is limited. To live a more fulfilling life be a student of it. Learn from what it has to teach you. Failures and successes, joys and sorrows, victories and losses, these are all experiences which bring with them wisdom; wisdom to understand the meaning of life and I feel like the more we understand it, the happier we will be.
If you look at the four broad categories above, you will realize that each day of yours falls into some if not all of these quadrants. Unfortunately every one of us seem to place most of our importance on only one of them – Work. We have come to believe that success at work, especially financial success, is the only route to being happier. The truth is that a balance is required. You can give your body 15 minutes of stretches and a supply of healthy nutritious food to make it think and act optimally. You can give your loved ones an hour an evening or a day on weekends to maintain relationships. You can give yourself 30 minutes of time each day while you are headed to work to study psychology, philosophy, art, business or whatever subject that interests you. When you start giving each quadrant of your life daily time then you will realize that your productivity and effectiveness at work will also improve and you will be happier for it!
Don’t rely on motivation alone to get off your ass. Rely on systems which will make you spend the time required on the factors which actually influence your life.
This entry was posted on Monday, January 9th, 2012 at 5:02 pm and is filed under Lessons Learnt. You can follow any comments to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a comment, or trackback from your own site.