Chapter 03. Thinking about your vision and mission
I prefer dreams of the future
to the history of the past. – Thomas Jefferson
One of the best and most insightful books written in the last few years
is Thinking, Fast & Slow by Daniel Kahneman.
He argues that we need to use two different forms of thinking to deal
with the situations we face every day.
Fast thinking is the form of thinking we use to handle short-term tasks,
and situations where we need to act quickly and instinctively.
In most situations,
quick thinking fits perfectly into our daily activities.
The second form of thinking
that Kahneman describes is slow thinking.
That’s when you stop and take more time to think carefully
and in detail about the situation
before deciding what to do.
Kahneman’s view is that the failure to apply slow thinking
when necessary leads to many of the mistakes we make in life.
To manage your time and take control of your life,
you need to apply “slow thinking” on a regular basis.
Let’s start with the question:
“What am I trying to do?”
Think before you act.
You can often put in the effort to work
but not take the time to look back
and think about what you really want to achieve.
There is a story about a couple who traveled
by car from San Diego to Los Angeles.
The husband is not familiar with the road
but always runs at full speed.
As they were walking,
the wife asked,
“Brother, is Phoenix on his way to Los Angeles?”
The husband replied,
“Why do you ask that?”
The wife replied,
“Ah, I just passed the sign saying this road goes to Phoenix.”
The husband said,
“Don’t worry, we’re having fun.”
Before you speed up your life,
you need to know the outcome you really want to achieve.
In his book The Devil’s Dictionary,
Ambrose Bierce wrote that “fanaticism is redoubled effort
but neglecting the goal.”
Is your goal to build a great life?
Are you trying to make a great career or complete a great work?
The ability to pause for self-analysis
—is essential to helping you manage your time
for peak performance and the joy,
and happiness of what you do.
Keep the end goal in mind
Clearly define your desires.
As Stephen Covey said,
“Start with the end goal in mind.”
What is the end result
or achievement you are trying to achieve?
What position do you want to reach?
As you climb the ladder of success,
make sure the ladder is leaning against the building you want to climb.
Are you working to earn enough money to live and feel happy?
Are you working because you love what you do
or because you feel like you’re on a mission
to achieve something very important?
What will your world look like
when you reach your biggest goal?
What is your long-term vision of yourself and your career?
What is your mission?
What difference would you like to make in the lives of others?
If all you do is make enough money to pay the bills,
it will be difficult for you to cultivate
and maintain high determination and enthusiasm.
To truly feel happy and fulfilled,
you must act to achieve something greater than your own needs
and make a difference in the lives or work of others.
Research your method
Once you know what you want to do,
you have to ask the question,
“How do I do it?”
Answering this question will give you valuable insights
that will help you look at your situation
and see if you’re on the right track.
Once you know what you’re trying to do and how,
you need to ask the next question:
“How is it going?”
Is what you’re doing bringing you closer
to your goal in the fastest
and most efficient way?
Are you satisfied with your progress?
Are things going well or are you hitting too many roadblocks?
The most important thing is to question your assumptions.
As Peter Drucker said,
“False assumptions are the root of all failures.”
What are your assumptions about work and life?
What are your conscious assumptions?
What are your unconscious
and generally accepted assumptions?
It’s amazing how many people are working
so hard on false assumptions
that they never doubted.
Find a better way
When thinking about the question
“How are things going?”,
you also need to consider another important question,
“Is there a better way?”
The reality is that
there is almost always a better way to achieve a goal at work.
That way could be faster,
easier to implement,
and more efficient.
There is a very good saying that,
“Life is more important than anything.”
is to speed up.”
A lot of people are working very hard
but are going in the wrong direction.
They don’t know what they want to do
and what they will achieve,
but they don’t want to face the fact that
they can make mistakes.
The process of asking these tough questions requires slow thinking,
which can dramatically speed up your ability
to achieve your work goals,
The voice you believe will determine the future you experience. ― Steven Furtick