Are you making progress? Or… at least… do you feel like you’re making progress? And how do you even know?
Well, step one is having goals. Or… at least… one goal. Does anything come to mind?
If not, you might be in trouble. You see while I’m sorry to be a wet blanket, the truth is, goals are the reason 3% of Harvard MBAs make 10x as much as everyone else. So I hope you have some goals. Right?
And if we’re being honest…
You’ll notice I said “some” goals. That’s right…
Just like you need a diversified investment portfolio, you need a diverse set of goals. As in the markets, (you guessed it!) diversification offers a free lunch. Be wise and take it.
If all your goals are focused on work or investing, they will tend to be correlated. And in both those situations there are many variables outside of your control. This is going to give you a very volatile life. Is that really what you want?
What happens if you are a value investor with a goal to earn X%/year returns, but you can’t find any good opportunities no matter how hard you work?
On the other hand:
If you have a fitness goal, a couple work goals, a personal goal and an educational goal like doing an online course, you’ll find you live a much more balanced life. Diverse your goals by time-frame (short term vs. medium and long term) and life area (personal, health, professional, social).
There’s another benefit…
When you live your life this way, your entire existence and self-image won’t be tied to a single thing. Some of you are probably loathe to that idea (aspiring investment bankers come to mind). But I encourage you to be open to the idea.
Not only is this latter approach to goal setting more fulfilling. But it also makes life more manageable. If you have a bad day at work, you can put it behind you. Instead of dwelling on it, you can move on to other meaningful things when you get home: like going for a run, or cooking dinner for a family member.
Because that’s what life is about. This is it. You’re living it. Soak it up … and… not just the markets, or work, or taking over the world. That’s just a part of the bigger mosaic of life.
So live it. Push yourself. Experience and achieve.
Even if it’s something small, consistent progress towards your major goals (in all areas of life) is critical. Raise your head resolve to achieve. And take that inaugural step. Because remember, goals were step 1. And step 2, the real focus of this blog post, is getting things done.
If you are not familiar: check out Jerry Seinfeld’s productivity secret for some simple inspiration to help you achieve your dreams.