What Matters?

Here I am about to not take my own advice – I was supposed to allocate ten minutes at the start of the session to gather my thoughts and draw out a quick outline for the entry, but I’m ready to jump right in so here we go.

Today’s topic is priorities. I want to share mine. In hindsight this should have been earlier than my seventh post. It should have probably been placed right after I wrote-out my personality traits and temperament. Certainly before my time allocation, since in theory that should all be driven by what I assign to be my priorities.

There are some tiers to my priorities, with each subsequent layer getting more specific. I’ll start at the very top.

My top level priority

Peace of mind. Cliche, but I do think this is what’s most important. The ability to keep a calm head, to keep myself from ruminating, being at the whim of emotions, etc. Not to be confused with being happy, since that’s not a state you can constantly maintain. A simple test is if you are doing something that is not directly contributing to a calm state of mind, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it, or at a minimum repeatedly doing it? Attribution for this goes to Naval Ranvikant, although he may have coined it Peace from Mind.

Supporting, Level Two Priorities. The idea here is that all of these priorities directly support me having peace of mind.

I want my actions to line up with my priorities. I don’t want this to be a thought exercise. Everything I state here should trace back to what I do on a day-to-day basis. This means I need to be very conscious of how I’m spending my time.

Maintaining my physical health. Exercise, diet, sleep, and avoiding detractors in excess (drinking, smoking, sitting down for too long, long distance travel, too much time in front of a screen, etc).

Being there for my parents and uncle as they get older. This is a deeply personal one, but I always want to be there for my parents as they get older. They are already in that zone, and I want to be there to help however I can for the rest of their lives.

Develop and maintain real meaningful relationships. Relationships based on my interests, with people with values and integrity. People who I would be proud to call friends, and people who I can learn from. I have defaulted too much in the past towards merging my social and professional circles, and I would like to avoid this in the future.

Have enough money where I can live comfortably and not have to worry about money. I would also add that I would like to not get beyond what I need, I want to avoid chasing money just for the sake of chasing money, which is what I was doing previously. I need to have enough, nothing more, nothing less. I would say I am already pretty close on this one, maybe need to earn for a couple more years just to account for anything unforeseen.

Keep close tabs on the components and shape of my identity. In the past I developed an identity without paying much attention, only to realize later I didn’t even like it! The foundation was my career, and corresponding status. I don’t want the foundation of my identity to be my job, period. Further, I don’t want my identity to be anchored against anything – want to maintain the right to change anytime, for any reason, without having to answer to it.

I want to contribute to society, ideally help people directly. Right now, I am way too selfish. I care about myself primarily, and also my parents and uncle. Everything I am doing is to protect our existence. I know I could be doing more, and I would like to. Ideally by focusing on the community that I live in, try to make a positive contribution. Give back time and money, but more importantly be a role model.

Learn new skills and learn about new topics. This not only keeps life interesting, but serves as a constant reminder of how little I know. There is really no reason to ever be bored with all that we have access to in today’s world.

I don’t want to ever become too attached to my own ideas and opinions. I want to stay flexible and always maintain the ability to amend my positions and change my mind without feeling shame.

I want to consume and appreciate art, in all forms. Visual arts, music, film, books, and architecture. Expose myself to genius and beauty daily.

I want to avoid being overly materialistic and consumerist. Avoid falling into the trap of status symbols. Losing game where you’ll always be chasing, never satisfied.

I don’t want to fear death. Know that it is always right around the corner, but shouldn’t be feared. Not for me, or for anyone else around me either.

That’s all I can come up with off the top of my head. I still have twenty minutes to write, so here are a few, specific goals just for kicks!

I would like to have my own house with a plot of land where I could have the following:

Small Cabin for myself- A-frame, big fireplace, single room open concept. 600 sq ft

Guest Cabin / Office – 200 sq feet less than 50 yards from the main.

Basketball hoop with lane, free-throw line, and 3 point line drawn onto the asphault

Small gym – Squat Rack, barbell, bench.

Personal Sauna – not-infrared

Small garden- subsistence garden

I would like to keep the residence above as my primary home, but then live in a different city for 3-4 months out of the year. Pick a different city to stay for 3-4 months every year, avoid bad weather.

I would like to go on a safari in Africa. See elephants, lions, rhinos, in their natural element.

I would like to go to the NBA Finals if it’s in Milwaukee

I would like to go to the World Series if it’s ever in Milwaukee

I would like to have a pet dog.

I would like to learn how to ski, and spend a season skiing somewhere.

I want to get much better at cooking and food prep. Starting with improved chopping skills.

I am tempted by the Tesla cybertruck, but I know I don’t need it. 1105 Words.

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