Friday, 8 April 2016

Warning - What the Minimised Life will look like

No life is entirely 'maximised' or 'minimised'. Everyone pretty much experiences a mix: You'll lose the path, then find the path, one day feeling on top of the world and the next totally lost and afraid.

A maximised person is not always maximised. A minimised person will have moments of their authentic self shining through. The only difference is that if you are maximised, then you dwell in this place of love and courage far more often, and it's reflected in every area of your life - your wealth, your relationships, your career and your social life.

But why bother with all this personal development?

Allow me to give you a vision of roughly what the minimised life looks like.

You go through childhood and develop bad habits in your teenage years - partying hard, reliance on alcohol for your social confidence, deep involvement in the whole idea of 'coolness' and popularity. You may have a few relationships. If you are minimised then they will more than likely go wrong, and hurt you. Even worse, you do not learn from your mistakes - so you end up with the wrong kind of partner again and again, and consistently get hurt.

You wasted away most of your time at school. Instead of using this time to develop a strong foundation for the rest of your life, you spent it all on social media and drugs and television. Now in the real world, you're unprepared for how life really works.

You get a reasonable career and maybe manage to remedy these early mistakes. You make a decent wage. You might have a family. You're a cog in the wheel of society; you work your nine to five job every day, you do your bit, you're probably a pretty good citizen. You're satisfied some of the time, but you might have a feeling that you could be doing more somehow - that you're missing something. Things could be different. This wasn't how you expected life to be.

You start to get old, having lived a life of mediocrity. You always had enough food, lots of friends and a pretty good job - but why does it still feel like you could have had more? Why does it still feel like you missed something along the way?

 You notice that there were opportunities you could have taken that you declined because you were uncertain and hesitant. Why did you turn down that job? Why did you marry her or him, when you always felt like that other person was the love of your life?

Eventually, on your death bed, you look back at the life you've lived. And you realise that you have regrets, so many of them. You wish you'd shown more love to your kids and your partner. You wish you'd spent more time in nature. You realise that you did some cool stuff, but you haven't left much of a mark on the world. You never made the change that you wanted to see. You always settled for less than you could have had or done.

And you pass away, wishing you could try again and knowing that you could do better this time.

Maybe your life will not be quite so dramatically dull. But using this exercise, of visualising how things could be, is very effective for shaping the life that you want. Stephen R. Covey calls it 'beginning with the end in mind '.

A minimised life is one where you settle for less, don't push yourself and never quite hit what you're capable of.

Aim to die without regrets.

Get out of your own way, and live your life at what you know you're capable of doing - at your maximum potential.

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