Just as I think it’s valuable to look back on the last 12 months of progress, I also think that planning is at the core of actually getting what you want in life. This post is the counter-part to my 12 month review post.
What’s the big picture?
My purpose is to grow, with courage & openness, sharing love & honesty, and inspiring others to do the same.
I wrote that early 2011 and I’m pleased that 12 months on it still resonates strongly.
As I mentioned in my 2011 review, I’m at a unique point in my life – I feel like I’ve just hit the reset switch in many ways. I’ve cleared out all the clutter, have ended almost all the projects I was working on and now have a clean slate with a lot of available capacity. The challenge is to make the most of this opportunity and not just get lazy and pile a bunch of crap back in. Already this week I’ve spent more time than I care to admit playing iPhone games.
If I look out to the horizon, and try and picture where I want to be 3 years from now, there’s a number of themes that I identify with. Above all else I want to continually experience situations that challenge me and force me to think about myself, the things I do, the people I spend time with and the world around me as a whole. Already I’m beginning to identify things I’m doing here in Beijing that aren’t optimal and I will need to change at some point.
My vision for the future is surprisingly clear, and I can see for the first time how some of the different aspects of my life are likely to come together. I reads like this:
I have developed my mandarin language ability to a point where I can think & speak without having to translate to english. I can read newspapers, understand marketing messages and work in mandarin, needing to look up or clarify unknown words only a few times a day. Every day I work with people I respect and admire, in a way that plays to my strengths and utilises my language ability. It is with an Australian, American or Chinese based company or companies, that has a profit motive, which does business between East / West, heavily utilising new technologies. My role is meaningful, inspires me to do my best work & I am compensated at the top of the industry. I live between China and a 2nd country, and spend most of my time in China.
My life is simple, unhurried & focused. I earn enough that outright cost is never a factor in my decisions. I have amazing friends and a peer group that shares my values & supports me in the things I choose to do. I have a relationship with a woman who is intelligent, caring, shares my values, offers a different perspective and is accomplished in her own right. My environment is free of clutter, warm, nurturing and gives me what I need.
I am fit and healthy and know how to get the best from my body. I am at all times confident, secure, relaxed and unthreatend by interactions with other people and all social situations. I am regularly approached for advice.
A lot of that sounds a bit wanky, but I’m going to run with it anyway.
Just as last year, there are a number of principles I’d like to follow, they’re mostly the same but with a few tweaks:
Help others, when it doesn’t burden me to do so
Essentially this is a combination of charity, generosity & contribution.
Be honourable, honest & authentic with myself and others
One of things I’ve been noticing in myself and others lately is how we talk about other people in their absence. When someone I’m with bad mouths another person I’m always disappointed. But it’s something that I do too and I’d like stop. Quite often I am hyper-critical of others, but I feel this needs to be at all times delivered in a way that caring and respectful – would I say the same if they were standing next to me? This doesn’t mean i have to pretend to like everyone, or stop being critical – it just means that whatever I say must come from a place of caring rather than spite or jealousy or envy.
Give everyone a chance
I’m insanely judgemental.
Your shoes don’t match your belt? Clearly you’re an idiot.
While it would be nice to pretend that I could switch this off, at the moment I don’t think it’s something I can change. Rather, I’m going to accept that I judge, acknowledge this, and then work to give everyone the benefit of the doubt until they prove otherwise.
Do what’s important first
Too often I get caught up in being busy, rather than doing the things that matter.
Banish mediocrity from my life
Make time daily to check in with my vision, identify what the important tasks are that support this vision, then execute them
Be elegant & take my time to do things right
With the vision above and the principles I’ve outlined, must of course come practical, actionable steps. For many of these I’m will develop a separate plan of attack but for the time being I’m just going to list them. Some will no-doubt get their own post in the future.
- Develop a daily rhythm, that helps me perform at my best & stick to it 6 days a week,
- Do a 3 month HSM (starting 25 Jan 2012),
- Exercise regularly, current options are yoga, dance, hiking,
- Develop my mandarin so I can have a casual conversation effortlessly & read a newspaper,
- Develop my online income streams to a point where I am earning $500 pm,
- Produce a meaningful body of work that is a calling card for amazing job offers,
- Build my china network,
- Bring an existing niche website to a point where it aligns with my principles & write a case study,
- Write regularly; and
- Develop and test a video marketing business idea.