You want to know what my biggest goal in life is?
Ok, here it is…
To do as little as possible.
How’s that for ambition?
I probably should give some context here. All my life (with interludes of low self-esteem or self-worth) I have considered myself to be a high achiever. I’ve had grand plans for accomplishing big goals and living a grand life. I fill my day with all the “stuff” I have to get done to reach those goals. For the most part, I have actually achieved a lot of things. In fact, some of my accomplishments were deemed impactful enough by the Idaho Business Review to award me their “40 Under 40” award. I’ve written two books. I fought in a cage match. I’ve grown a business to $10 million in revenue.
Accomplishments, achievements, awards…none of it actually made me happy. It was just one more thing to check off my ever growing to-do list. I’ve joked that my to-do list was going to be stapled to my lapel when I was buried, dozens of things still left to do.
None of those things on my to-do list are really that important. Some of them are. I have responsibilities and commitments that I need to fulfill. I have work that I need to get done. Appointments to keep.
But, how many of them actually support me? How many of them are ultimately going to lead to any sort of lasting fulfillment? Very few.
So, I decided that in addition to my regular to-do list, I would create a “Get To-Do” list. These are things taken from my 5-year Vision Statement and distilled down into yearly, monthly, and weekly actions. These are the things that will actually change my life and lead to fulfillment. I have business stuff on there, but I also have important relationship stuff on there. Critical health items and a place for my hobbies and interests. I have all the things on my “get to-do” list that I never seemed to have time for…and as a result, my life marched on, indifferent to my angst of not living a life that was truly mine.
Instead of trying to simply do more, I am being intentional about doing less of the stuff I don't want to do and more of the stuff that I do. So when I say my greatest ambition in life is to do as little as possible, it is in the context of doing things that aren't going to lead to my own personal fulfillment.
Each week, I create my “get to-do” list and fill in the activities on my calendar FIRST. Only then do I add in all the other stuff from my regular to-do list. And if some of that stuff doesn’t fit? Well, too bad. But, no longer will it stand in the way of bridging the gap between who I am today and who I am capable of becoming.
No more. Now my "Get To-Do" list takes priority. It’s my time to live.