Working out what really matters
Recently, I’ve been reading a book called ‘Conversations that get results and inspire collaboration’ by Shawn Kent Hayashi. There is an exercise in the book that really resonated with me, so I thought I’d share it.
Hayashi suggests making a ‘That’s for me’ list of at least 100 experiences, things, opportunities and conversations that you would like to have within your life, and places that you’d like to go to (family, career, individual).
How do you want to add value?
Who would you like to support, guide and mentor?
Identify the story that you would like to be known for (if you could overhear someone talking about you, what would you like them to be saying? Or think about a speech made about you at your 40th/70th/100th birthday party)
What results, experiences or accomplishments would trigger feelings of excitement, pride or celebration in you?
By writing this list, you can begin to get some clarity about what is important to you, and what motivates you. Can you group any of the items in themes? Which elements are the most important to you? Keep them at the top. It’s likely to be a dynamic list, changing and developing over time. You might have a conversation or read an article that inspires you to add something else. Revisit the list regularly, break down each ambition or goal, and work out small steps to achieving something on it. Create an additional list as you go of all the things that you have done so you can look back at your achievements.
Some things on the list might be one-off experiences that are *relatively* easy to organise, like going skydiving or taking an art class. Pick up the phone and book it; take a friend if it’s on their list too.
Ambitions such as trying to improve a relationship, or to get fit, or achieving a specific career goal may require a bit more thought and perseverance. You may need to seek support to achieve them, and that’s ok. This exercise is based on collaboration as well – how can others help you to achieve your goals and how can you help others to achieve theirs? Sometimes the process and sense of achievement in seeing someone else succeed can be a reward in itself. You might have a friend with a similar vision, you may know someone who could act as a professional mentor, or you may decide to get some professional support in the form of a personal trainer, a nutritionist, or a counsellor.
This isn’t another trite New Years’ Resolution list (which is why I am deliberately not posting this on January 1st), it’s more than that. It’s about creating an authentic reference to help you to maintain focus on what is really important in your life. We are all so busy, and sometimes I think it is worth stopping to work out whether we are busy doing the things that actually matter to us.