Yep. Life is short.
Time. It’s the most valuable and yet most neglected asset we have. The stock market may dip from time to time, but most likely it will recover over time. However, our time alive, once lost, will most likely never be recovered.
Take a deep breath, let that reality wash over you, count to 3.
That’s 3 seconds you’ll never get back. Sorry! ?
The idea of “time loss” is a strange concept to grasp, we all know it’s true, but we neither want to acknowledge it, nor do we behave accordingly. As we make plans for this new year, I believe this is one of the most important truth to keep in mind. Everything from career, relationships, money, and of course daily activities hinges on whether or not we can properly evaluate from this point of view.
Step 1: Replace “time” with “life” in all your sentences.
I think it’s an absolute privilege to have a job that you love / really like, I don’t think everyone can afford that luxury, but that being said, if you actually can and you don’t… well isn’t that a waste of life. For everyday you don’t, you’re losing another 1.5% of your total life when you could’ve used that to invest in something potentially life changing. Is it really worth it? Spending your last days wondering, regretting, if you could’ve been the transformative writer you’ve always wanted to be, if you could’ve been the creator of some significant innovations you’ve always thought the world needed?
Is it really worth it?
“Freedom is priceless”
My friend Jia summed it up so well the other day. She quit her biotech job and started traveling the world as a photographer. There’s something to be said about leaving pre-defined safety to pursue something more fulfilling whatever that may be. Her work is below (it’s still on sale!).
You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most lifewith.
I really love living in SF. There’s always something to do, people to hang out with, and by and large, the people here are some of the most interesting people that I’ve had the good fortune of becoming friends with. However, learning to say no judiciously is extremely important. On one hand, it’s important to build relationships, on the other, you also need time for self development. You don’t want to end up being someone with a lot of connections and no actual substance.
Choose people with qualities you admire.
Not people you admire, but people with qualities that you admire. They are a source of inspiration, they show that the wonderful quality is possible and attainable. Of course, no one is perfect, so don’t put them on a pedestal. I love my friends, they are a wonderful source of great inspirations and perspectives. ❤
Spend money on things that “gives” you more life. It’s more likely that you will earn back the money than it is to gain that lost life. I haven’t quite worked out a precise equation for calculating that threshold of pragmatism vs splurges. Perhaps something like this?
time + cognitive resource valuation * net worth
- Going to a bunch of stores to find the cheapest X. The travel and life loss involved is most likely not worth the 10$ you saved.
- If you want to start a blog to explore some business opportunity, building it yourself in a month will save hundreds, but if there are off the shelf solutions and can get going in a week. Is it really worth it?
Optimize all the things
Be wary of engaging in things that trade life for money. Look for investments of life that has the potential of exponential rewards — rewards can include income, experiences, increase expertise.
I’ve never been a fan of schedules because I’ve found them to be too structured and I don’t want to have to do do what I *have* to do, I want to do what I *want* to do! However, one thing I want to experiment with this year is the concept of freedom with constraints. This concept of freedom as a result of constraints came from an interesting conversation on holocracy.
When there’s too much freedom, energy is not well directed toward a meaningful goal.
There’re too many unknowns and too many possibilities simultaneously that the overhead of deciding actually restricts how much output is possible. I think for most of us (especially you reading this!), when we say we want “freedom”, it’s often “productive freedom” which necessitate some sort of goal oriented approach. By eliminating choices, you increase output.
8am: awake + yoga
9am: breakfast + reading
7pm: get home + dinner
8pm-11pm: Free time!!! (more LoungeBuddy work, side projects, friends, outings, etc )
Read and sleep before 1am!
- Raspberry Pi — Finish this bad boy.
3. Live Coding — Do at least 2 sessions on http://livecoding.tv . I have a UIKit dynamic / storyboard open source project I’ve been wanting to release, that would be perfect to do a tutorial for that. To get over my fears and get better at technical communications
4. Release at least 1 open source project — see #3.
The truth is that we are all steadily marching towards an inevitable end, and that’s a very good thing.
It forces us to ask The Question: “what REALLY matters?”
Does it really matter that bully Bobby turned everyone against you in high school for standing up to him to help someone? Or will you always regret not doing the right thing? Does it matter that you’re keeping that super swanky $$$ soul sucking job because it’s “respectable”? Or will you always regret never taking the leap of faith to pursue a better use of your life? There’s always a primal fear that keeps us in our place of mediocrity, to rise above it we need only to ask The Question.
This whole subject on conquering fear is a whole other post in itself! Lovely!
HAPPY 2016, AND MAY THE ODDS BE EVER IN YOUR FAVOR! ?
Questions? Answers? Something to add? Leave a comment!