How To Build The "Best Day Ever" Mindset: Step Two - First Principles & Processes
by Live Better
Step one in developing the "Best Day Ever Mindset" was to detox. We've stripped away the non-essentials, leaving us with a decluttered mind.
Now, we must develop our "mission statement" and subsequent framework by which we make decisions. This will be your reference manual when decisions get difficult, offers get bigger, or we find ourselves outside our normal purview.
While a business might develop these ways of thinking from its creation, as people we don't often sit back and reevaluate the way in which we make decisions. We simply moved on from high school to college (maybe) to our first job (maybe our second, third, or fourth job) without ever having stopped to think about what we stand for or what we truly want.
Usually, we take on the ideals of our parents, our personality develops, and our work ethic carries us forward.
At any moment, you are in charge of the way you think, feel, and act.
Let's first define a "First Principle."
From René Descartes' Principles of Philosophy:
"We must commence with the investigation of those first causes which are called Principles. Now these principles must possess two conditions: in the first place, they must be so clear and evident that the human mind, when it attentively considers them, cannot doubt of their truth; in the second place, the knowledge of other things must be so dependent on them as that though the principles themselves may indeed be known apart from what depends on them, the latter cannot nevertheless be known apart from the former."
In English, you must develop ways in which you think and act that you cannot doubt they are your truth. In other words, YOU DECIDE WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS IN YOUR LIFE.
The second bolded section says that all other pieces of knowledge are based on these principles; in essence, they guide the way you live. If you don't know what you stand for (your personal "mission statement"), you'll fall for the next best thing. It's a huge reason why people fail at health goals; they chase instant gratification through novelty instead of truly sticking to skill development on a consistent basis.
If you're using this framework for business, consider this anecdote: If you don’t stand for anything, you’ll fall for everything. Case in point - every “influencer” online that posts for money without considering what message it will send. This also includes athletes; I often wonder why LeBron James is a face for Sprite when very clearly he knows what message that sends to young athletes trying to develop (hint: Sprite does NOT hep you be a better basketball player).
We’re not saying don’t say “show me the money,” but be proud of the way you make it. Be proud of the things you stand for. This is the way you control your environment instead of someone else deciding for you.
What are some of Live Better's "First Principles"?
Self-care feeds Purpose. Purpose feeds Self-care.
Have the best day ever, every single day.
Discipline = Freedom
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with
Consistency > Intensity, but "play" ready
Be "the man in the arena"
(if you'd like to learn more about our First Principles, watch our "Talks @ Google here).
After we develop our "truths," we have a guide from which to develop processes. These are 'decision defaults,' or simply what we will say yes and no for. If you said yes to everything in your inbox, you'd have a pretty difficult day...but where do you draw the line?
What decisions can you make routine? If someone asks you to do something against your morals, you would (probably) immediately say NO, right?
Write those (morals/principles) down on paper. These principles will likely guide not only how you interact with people but also carry over into how you do business. If they don't, they should. Compare what you have written down to all of your actions over the last few years - are they congruous?
Work-life balance is made up. Your "life" doesn't stop at work and the person you are at work will come home with you at the end of the day.
So how does this process build on Step One (Detox)? Once you have subtracted your thoughts down to the bare essentials, we can be clear on what it is we want. This can be achieved in several ways, from seeking a coach for external review, taking a trip to focus on yourself away from the distractions of home, or try a simple at home strategy like journaling. We then write down our First Principles in which we decide who we are and what we stand for.
After these are written down, we must develop processes to evaluate decision making when faced with challenges or opportunities. What can we automate? What should we seek outside counsel for? What needs to be solely our decision?
It is by this framework that we live a life we are proud of. We move the needle forward under our own terms, ones in which we've thought carefully through, especially in an age of instant gratification.
What will help you have the best day ever, every single day?