“The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.”― Fyodor Dostoyevsky
After reading an interesting article on Medium this morning, I was scrolling through other articles and was amazed at the dozens of articles with titles like, “The seven habits of highly unproductive people,” “The most effective way to burn body fat” and “My 5 top productivity apps.” Earlier this year, while exploring a new paper planner, it was filled with countless pages goal-setting for the month, week and year. The testimonials were filled with, “this was my most productive year yet!” and “This planner changed my life!” Why on earth is a planner changing our lives? What about the birth of our children? Or a beautiful adventure we took or poem we wrote? Have you seen the many many different books/vlogs/articles about morning routines? Does anyone else see this as it’s own version of clutter? Of looking at life as a list of things we need to accomplish and then we can actually start living our lives? But when? When we retire?
Are morning routines, evening routines and any other routine valuable? Well does it roll up to your values? My personal value statement is “live beautifully and take care of one another.” Do your routines reflect the life you want to live? And the values you base your life on? So what does my morning look like? Now it’s generally getting up early to have a warm cup of tea or coffee and sit and meditate. But there are days that my body needs the rest and it’s a very truncated version of this. (5 minute meditation and oat milk latte on the go at my local coffee shop.) I used to wake up at 5:30 and exercise intensely, meditate, read, write, visualize like the miracle morning told me to. But that was not living beautifully. That was living insecurely. I was trying to do what I was supposed to do to be a productive person. I also figured out that I do NOT like to work out at 6am. I love a good 3 hours before I have raise my heart rate. My favorite times to work out are 10am-12pm on weekends and after work on weekdays. It was very important part of taking care of me to listen to what my body needs when it comes to exercise. And now, I work out happily 4-6 days a week!
What about apps like “Streaks” or “Habitica: Gamified Taskmanager?” I believe we need to use technology to help us be present in the life we are living and manage our days with white space, (meaning take time to rest or read or do something simple you enjoy in between the major events.) Whatever we gamified will certainly not be remembered in 10 years. But giving our time, energy and money to what matters to us will pay off exponentially in a decade. So essentially- If you can use a GTD system to brain dump your to do list to live more fully in your value-based moment, great! But if the to do list is your life than please leave it behind.
What do I want my legacy to be? What do I want to look back on my life and feel proud to have contributed?
This is the question I want to ask myself every morning and let it lead me through my day and career. I want to leave this planet a better place than when I found it. And I want to do that through my personal value statement. What do you want your legacy to be? Find more about crafting your personal value statement here and here.