I’m listening to the morning rain, thinking about the fact that it’s spring break and I don’t have to go to work. How best to spend the day? When I look back, fifteen hours from now, what will I have accomplished? Will I feel happy with the way I used the time?
But I’m on the wrong track with my questions.
According to Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek, “What do you want?” is too imprecise to produce a meaningful and actionable answer. In his research, Ferriss asked his clients to name the ultimate outcome that, once they achieve their goals, will have made all their efforts worthwhile. The most common response is – wrongly – “happiness.” Wrong, he says, because it’s so ambiguous and overused it’s useless. Instead he suggests you ask yourself this: “What would excite me?” because without excitement, we won’t be able to maintain our enthusiasm for moving goalward.
When I read this chapter in Tim’s book, I got excited thinking that this wasn’t just a way to meet goals. Asking “what would excite me” might be a good way to make sure we don’t waste our lives. A day is just a small bit of the bigger picture, after all. Waste a day, waste a week, waste a life. How can I make sure that, at the end of it, I feel good about the way I spent it?
As I listen to the rain, I think that it might make me happy to have a clean office, but it won’t excite me. Now, a movie in Temecula followed by lunch in the wine country? That would excite me. Think I’ll hit the gym beforehand, earn a few alcohol credits.
And almost inadvertently move toward two of my longer-term goals: fitness and mindfulness.
Do you think this little trick will work for you? Let me know what you think.