Posted on 27 July, 2015

Living A Successful Life And Still Doing What's Important

By Jacob Andreae in Personal Development Living A Successful Life And Still Doing What's Important

[Photo credit: Jeff Golden]

People always tell me that they don’t know how Holly and I do it. We both run businesses and we have four children, four and under. We are very busy with our careers but we always find time for each other and our kids. Systems play a huge part in our life success but life wasn’t always this peachy.

Back when I was high school teaching, I was a chronic over-committer. I took on anything and everything that seemed interesting. I was so focused on my career and not letting others down that I often let the people down who relied on me the most - Holly and our kids.

Too many people get caught up in what I call, ‘Artificial Importance’.

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When my mind and body finally broke down from being overloaded with chronic stress, I was forced to evaluate my lifestyle. It was clear I wasn’t living how I wanted to. 

I evaluated my values, created a personal definition of success in every area of my life, and started living my life according to my values.

When I started living life according to what was truly important, I created an enormous amount of freedom and my sense of fulfilment exploded. The successes in one area of my life enhanced the successes in another area, which in turn, enhanced another. It was like an expanding chain reaction. Life got better and better in every possible way.

Many people focus solely on success in just one area of life. However, you can only feel complete freedom and fulfilment when you clearly understand what success means to you in every area. You must commit to reflecting your values in your everyday actions.

The world’s most successful people are very busy, but the secret to their success is that they don’t compromise on what truly matters. They are great self-managers. They know explicitly what is truly important and they maintain the margin between their commitments and their capacity with their core values in mind.

Too many people get caught up in what I call, ‘Artificial Importance’. It’s easy to create a false sense of importance for things that aren’t really important. You must be explicitly clear about what really is important.

Fast forward to today and my calendar controls my life. I control my calendar however, and I do so with a very clear sense of what’s important to me. As I get requests throughout the week, I don’t say yes straight away. I refer to my calendar and work out if I can manage new requests as they come in. For more information, read my blog: Learn How To Say No.

Do what’s important:

  • Don’t overcommit. 
    Use a calendar religiously to productively fulfil your commitments. Maintain the margin between your commitments and the total time available to you each week (168 hours). 
  • Know what’s important.
    Explicitly understand the hierarchy of your values. Order your values from most important to least important.
  • Know what success means to you.
    Success means different things to different people. Define precisely what success means to you in every key component of your life.
  • Walk the talk.
    Knowing your hierarchy of values means nothing if you don’t act upon it. Organise your calendar so that you spend much of your time doing what’s most important. If you say you can’t, my kids would tell you that ‘can’t’ is a naughty word. I encourage you to find a way and there is always a way. This is what I specialise in. If you really want to spend your time in another way, contact me.

The world’s most successful people don’t compromise on what’s important. Knowing what you value in life and spending your time accordingly so is the key to success in every part of your life.

How do you manage what’s truly important to live a successful life with freedom and fulfilment? Let me know in the comments below. 

About Jacob Andreae

About Jacob Andreae

I write and speak about Fitness, Nutrition and Mindset. 

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Living A Successful Life And Still Doing What's ImportantA quick start guide to losing weight and staying on track. Learn the strategies I use to eat and move for optimal health. Includes worksheets to enhance your motivation, commitment and discipline, along with a sample eating plan and exercise program.