Posts Tagged ‘Goals’

Ikigai — It’s not a fish

December 2, 2008

People living on the islands of Okinawa and Sardinia are more likely to reach 100 years of age than people living anywhere on earth.  These people attribute their long lives not to healthy eating, leisure living, or great genes, but to a term they love to use — ikigai which in essence means “sense of purpose.”

To expand it a little, ikigai is related to positive life-satisfaction, self-esteem, morale and a sense of having meaning in one’s life.  So people who possess ikigai have defined “that which makes one’s life worth living.”  Unfortunately there is not really an American English equivalent word, but we certainly understand the concept – it’s what all of us long for as well. 

This goes beyond a basic spiritual sense of purpose and eternal connection.  Having resolved our spiritual position, it’s that feeling that our life is valuable and that our future is worthwhile, even if our present circumstances are dark.  In studies of these island dwellers it appears that having <i>ikigai</i> is not connected to economic status at all. 

Now what about you?  Is your sense of having purpose and a life worth living independent of your circumstances, or has your current economic situation also deflated your confidence in the value of your life?   While the holiday season can be a delightful time of year, for some this upcoming month will also be stressful, emotionally taxing and a reminder that goals were not achieved this year. 

Here are a few questions to ask yourself: 

  • Do I know where I stand spiritually and have resolved how I will spend eternity?
  • Have I discovered my “purpose” now — here on earth? 
  • Is there anything on my goal list for 2008 that I can still accomplish with a little focused effort?
  • What did I accomplish this year that I should be celebrating? (It’s easy to get too busy to notice all you have accomplished.)
  • What can I do to have a daily sense of ikigai in 2009?
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“Right” turns only

October 28, 2008

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could avoid wrong turns in your life?  If you could predict in advance the “right” job, investment or business?  I laughed recently when I read that UPS drivers are instructed to make as many right turns as possible – avoiding the waiting that making left turns often requires.  In fact, efficiency is so much a part of the UPS culture that 90% of their turns are to the right, as opposed to the left.  UPS trucks drove 2.5 billion miles last year, but they estimate that by turning right whenever possible they saved over 28 million miles of driving and three million gallons of fuel.

What if you could find the “right” turns in your own life, avoiding the ones that wasted time, money and energy?  Is there a computer system or programming code that could map things out that strategically?   Maybe not, but I’m confident that if we put comparable time into planning our future as UPS does into driving efficiently, we could dramatically increase our success and sense of fulfillment.  Too often I talk with people who have just allowed life to “happen” rather than recognizing they can plan and guide tomorrow and the coming years. 

Decide now what you want 2009 to look like.  Decide what “success” means for you.  As part of my 2006 goals I had written that I wanted to do 25 radio/TV interviews that year.  On January 21st of this year I did 18 radio interviews on that day alone.  This year I have done close to 250 interviews.  The writing and personal goals I identified in 2006 seem small now – but if I had not written them down they would likely have never come into view. 

Are you identifying your “right” turns for 2009?  If not, you will be pulled along by the circumstances of your surroundings.  Let’s just commit to making “right” turns 90% of the time in the coming year – and why not go ahead and start today?

Start 2008 With A Clean Slate

December 18, 2007

Management guru Peter Drucker always recommended that you examine every part of your business regularly to determine if there is anything you are doing now that you wouldn’t do again if you could start over.

What if you did this Zero-Based planning for your LIFE?  If you could wipe the slate clean on January 1st, and look at your life in this way, what would you change?  The real hallmark of truly successful people is not that they do more but that they can decide what they are going to stop doing.  What are you going to Stop Doing on January 1st?

If you need a planning guide, here’s my brief outline for deciding what success will look like for you in 2008:  Dan’s Goal Planner

Does the idea of planning success in 7 areas of your life seem novel?