It’s easy to get caught up on buildings careers, moving forward, adding more money to the bank account, but the additional money isn’t what makes us happy. When I left my job to start working for myself, my salary went down significantly in that first year on my own, but I was a lot happier. Now, as I’m older and my business is more established, I’m starting to take a critical look at how I use money. After all, it’s just a tool. We often use it as a barometer of success, but I think my day-to-day happiness is usually a better barometer of whether or not I’m headed in the right direction, professionally and personally.
Great reminder. I’d love to hold onto this perspective daily.
ps – sigh, tumblr. I hate linking to things that are unattributed, but this one was good enough that even if it’s not really from Steve Jobs, it’s good to think about.
I’m not quite as intentional or disciplined about it as Godin suggests, but this is essentially the niche the iPad has filled in my life. For the most part, things like RSS, Tumblr, most online reading (through Instapaper), and even a good chunk of Twitter time are relegated to the iPad. I rarely even think of these things while I’m working on my laptop anymore.
Particularly, because my primary work machine is a laptop, there’s nothing more rewarding to me than heading down to my favorite coffee shop, with only my iPad and relaxing without feeling the need to work.
Brad gave one of my favorite talks at TEDx Boulder. If you’ve got 8 minutes to spare, go watch it. I love the concept of “going off the grid” regularly (though, I’ll admit I suck at making it happen).
My dad has a different version. He takes the 5th week of a 5-week month (there are only a few each year) and uses it for anything from vacation to a personal project he’s been putting off
It’s a good reminder that we often use the word “busy” to describe the feeling of being overwhelmed rather than an actual state of our current workflow or capacity. Interestingly though, busyness-as-a-feeling is something that can make us feel self-important, and so it’s hard to let go of even if the workload winds down.
Call it whatever you want, but I’m more and more convinced that a significant aspect to enjoying a long, healthy life is perspective—so much so that these psychological factors seem to even influence our physical body and how it deals with things that will kill us, like a terminal illness.
I’m single, both in the personal and professional sense, but this idea really resonates with me. Related tangent: I think, as a culture, we’re headed toward smaller and smaller business (in industries where it makes sense) and I wonder if we’ll see more couples who also think it makes more sense to work alongside each other.
ps – the whole Design Love series by IDSGN is interesting.
Running (literal and emotional) from thing to thing is a sign of disorganized frenzy. If you’re constantly running from engagement to engagement, you’re not living life on your terms.
One of my own personal, related, manifestos: I don’t run for public transportation. Heck, I actually avoid learning the schedule. I don’t want to be seen as that guy running after a bus or worrying about why the train is “late”. It’s something I just can’t control and doing so adds more angst than the benefit I receive by trying to worry.
Successful designs often give the design elements “breathing room”. I think that minimalism in life is about giving life breathing room. I live in a really small apartment and I love it because it constantly forces me to decide what things I’m truly using and value, and what possessions I could do without.
I lose this perspective a lot, but it’s the whole point, right? To live a life pursuing good things with good community around you is to live a good life. Considering how little of life we can actually control, it’s a good general direction.