Life is not as random as we are led to believe, there are strategies and tools available that can assist in overall development of well-being. It’s not that life is difficult, it’s that through various forms of inequity, many haven’t developed, honed in nor passed down transformative assets in the form of life development. Life resembles war, in the ambiguous nature of it. Everyday and every circumstance is different and are specific to individuals. Patterns of response to stimuli have become habitual to many through learned behavior, rather than intentional application of values and principles. Because life is a series of choices, and will power is a limited resource that can be depleted, successful strategies and tactics should be deployed when it comes to making choices that are consistent with the direction in which you want to go. The battle we all face is choosing between short term and long term rewards linked to the goals we set for ourselves, which determine the course of action that we take in our life.
When looking at life from the perspective of war, most people are in a state of survival, from being in a state of perpetual, perceptual defense. Never having the opportunity to go on offense. The way in which we look at things play a significant role in the course of action that we decide to take. Oftentimes, we make decisions without a set of consistent guidelines, moving from day to day and circumstance to circumstance putting out fires, without ever investing into the future.
Although time is moving forward, indecision and inaction come at a great cost. Our time is not infinite, although we do not know the day nor the time of our death, it’s important to factor death into everything. Not from the perspective of dying, but the end point of a the time horizon. Every moment of our lives we are progressing forward on our time horizon, moving forward on this time horizon with inactivity and indecision, opportunity is being left behind. For every moment of indecision and inaction, that’s a moment of lack of meaningful progress. The goal is to take ground in life, by progressing yourself closer and closer to your goals. Each choice, resembling a coordinated movement, in an effort to achieve a desired outcome
On one hand you hand you have time, on the other hand, you have desired objectives. When you spend time rather than invest time, time moves forward but the desired objectives remain stagnant, creating friction from the space created between time lost and desired progress on the objective. When maximizing your time, progress, even incremental, within the moving forward of time reduces friction between time and goals. Time/Goal Friction is a battle that many lose.
There are several principles and constructs that are critical tools that we need in our tool kit.
Should: Something that you don’t have to do, but has proven to be beneficial to others over the course of time and inclusion of the should from a trusted source can add performance potential to life. (You should read, you should hydrate, you should workout, you should meditate)
Finished: Being finished means that the task is complete, which is different from deciding that you’re done. In order for something to be finished, all elements of the task have to be complete
(You’re not finished cleaning the Kitchen if you haven’t wiped the counters, cleaned the stove, cleaned the microwave. You haven’t finished cleaning the living room until you’ve vacuumed behind and underneath the couch, as well as the pillows.) An even more clear example of deciding you’re done versus the task being complete. When we write a paper for class, we progress through various stages, culminating in a final rough draft that will produce the finished product. If you’re draft has been edited and looked over by a peer or say the teacher, and they gave you suggestions as to what to do. The grade of the paper, reflects the quality in which you completed the task. An A means that you completed all of the objectives, and the lower the grade the more elements of the task were left incomplete. Grades then, do have value, in the ability to showcase the display of skills necessary to complete a given task. Thus school is much more important than the educational factor, it’s about learning how to complete a task. An A means that you did everything that you were asked to do, a C means you did half of what you were asked and an F means you did non of which was asked.
Future Time Perspective
Time Horizon and Mortality
Future Self Orientation
More to come from the Life is War series