It’s been 10 years since I embarked on my journey to become a better Lisa every single day. It’s not about a competition with anyone or the past me, it is just the philosophy of the compounding effect on daily 1% improvements.
1.01^365 = 37.78
When people get to know me, it always lead to “how did you become like this today” and “how can I package you and teach it to my children or apply it to my life”.
I wish I knew. All I know is that it has been 10 years of trying, failing, figuring things out, tweaking, trying again. Now looking back, it is quite fun to pinpoint the areas that made me grow and random pieces of moments that build up the full picture of who I am today.
Yet, the journey is fucking hard. But you learn to appreciate it.
I always compare it to climbing a mountain. The summit is beautiful when you reach there. And you have to make your way up to reach there. It is going to happen anyway. Why not enjoy the ride and appreciate the journey up there. I’ve been meditating more and I finally get mediation — it is also what meditation preaches, to be in the present moment. (I love climbing mountains, if you haven’t figured that out by now.)
Structures and Models
I see huge value in structures and models. It is what interests me in economics in the first place — that models used to analyse issues. Then you figure out how to improve it. So simple, efficient and easy to implement.
Since then, I began to see structures and models in situations. I would think of how one idea can cross-pollinate to another and how one structure can be used to build upon another structure. And suddenly, the world explodes in your face with endless possibilities! It’s a beautiful moment.
So, I began with structuring success. This is what I am doing now, after 10 years of trying and failing.
The funny thing is that this is really easy and simple. Everyone preaches it. Ultimately, you need to figure out what works for you. It doesn’t work the same way for everyone. Just try. Failing is just a feedback that this method is not for you. And trust me, I’ve been failing for 10 years.
Since I plan and structure things a lot, this is how it works:
- 5-year plan on roughly where I see myself in 5 years
- 1-year plan (current year): 3 big goals I like to achieve and it stems from how I can add-value to the world + what is the 2-3 core skillsets I want to hone
- Quarterly plans: then I break them up to quarterly plans and make a rough guide on what I want to achieve in the quarter, which leads up to my 1-year plan
- At the start of each quarter: I sit my ass down to add more meat into my quarter’s plan. The key result areas, deadlines (just added this factor in Q3), metrics that can be verified.
- Every Sunday before bed: I make a plan of what I want to do according to the quarter plans, and split them up to daily tasks
- Start of every day: meditate for 15min, followed by 5min of reflection. It’s just writing whatever I want to write. Then 3 things I am grateful for. And then my to-do lists of the day, according to my plans written on sunday night
- End of every quarter: I spend a day reflecting on the work done, how I felt, what was good, what can be done better, if I have added-value, lessons learnt.
- On my wall: I have 3 sheets of paper
- Year’s goal broken into 6 segments — (1) goal/focus (2) time (3) skills (4) persevere (5) money (6) mind.
- Post-it notes of quotes, reminders, words that speak directly to me
- Quarterly goals with an empty space to be writing and brainstorming whatever is on my mind
This is the rough structure of how I am living my life now. It evolved from just having big goals, to big goals and small steps to get there, to small steps, to a mixture that I have now. I like this current structure.
I believe that unless you know where you want to go, you can go anywhere. Time is the only finite resource and I am not going to waste it on going anywhere. I want to go towards a specific direction, and I am leveraging time in my favour.
I’ll continue this series on sharing how I become me, the structure, the lessons and above all, the failings.
It’s not failing. It’s just feedback.