How to Figure Out What You Should Work On?
What would you do with your life if you could start all over again?
I stopped in my tracks when I read the above question.
I was reading the latest edition of the Highlights by Julian (worth subscribing if you ask me!)
Since I could not find it online elsewhere (unless you’re subscribed), I will summarize and unpack it in this edition.
Coming back to the question, Julian recommends asking it to yourself to break from the groupthink.
Since you are an average of the people you socialize with, you are likely to overvalue certain definitions of life’s purpose.
For example, if you hang out with entrepreneurs, they might think “making the most out of life” is about making the biggest impact while getting rich doing it.
For academics, it might be researching to get deeper insights.
For artists, it might be self-expression and connection with people and nature.
For others, it might be getting a job, finding a partner, buying a home, having kids- nothing more.
Nothing wrong with any of the above desires, though.
However, is it really yours?
It reminds me of the concept of mimetic desires (desire is a social process- we mimic it from other people, culture, and environment) which I talked about in my newsletter 11.
So, how do you break out of it and figure out what *YOU* want to focus on in your life?
Here is a 3 step exercise Julian recommends before starting any project in your life (making any choice or decision):
1. Write down the values you care about the most.
Some of the values he identified were knowledge, adventure, fame, power, money, exercising talent, & human connection.
2. Order them from most to least important AT PRESENT.
This is because your values can change in the future.
You cannot predict the future, so it is better to act on your present self.
Try to value knowledge (leads to personal growth) and exercising talents (being challenged) over maximizing money (after you reach a healthy baseline of income).
3. For each project/decision, add a checkmark to the value that has a higher chance to be fulfilled by pursuing that project.
If you struggle with this step, choose the project/decision that will minimize the regret you’ll feel as an 80-year-old looking back on your life.
When you maximize fulfillment, you minimize regret and sleep better.
I am amazed at the clarity of this framework that has allowed me to think straight after a long period of uncertainty.
I hope it does for you as well! 🙂
Until next time
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