Free Your Mind And The Rest Will Follow
Why your daily schedule is the only thing you need to reach your goals
If I would simplify the idea behind the ethos of Fewer Better Things I’d focus on the daily schedule. It’s really what we do every day that defines who we are, what lifestyles we live, what we really need, and what growth we are seeking. Without a well-crafted and executed daily schedule you’re not going anywhere.
The ideal is, of course, to have gotten to the point in life where you can design or highly influence your own schedule. From my perspective, becoming an expert within your field is the optimal way of doing this. But even if you haven’t – yet, there are still lots of opportunity to do the things you want daily to reach your goals and dreams.
My daily schedule is designed around fitness, traveling, and lifelong learning. Fitness could be anything from regular workouts at the gym to surfing, running, biking, and exploring new cities. Traveling has evolved from constantly being on the move to exploring a few new places every year to work from to really get to know them.
“Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.” – Bruce Lee
Lifelong learning is about being open-minded, challenging my own beliefs and behaviors but also about becoming better at what I do and regularly acquiring new skills. My ambition is to reach a certain level of expertise, mastery if you will, both to be able to help others but also to learn about what I’m really capable of.
By saying yes to the above we need to say no to a lot of things which is par for the course. We can really do anything but not everything we are capable of imagining in life. For example, since both alcohol and drugs (addictions from pharma to fast food to social media) can sabotage my fitness regime and budget I’ve said a hard no.
Saying no can be challenging, as we are conditioned to please people, but it also builds self-respect, integrity, and healthy boundaries. You just have to decide what matters the most, your dreams or those of others. Being selfish is healthy and positive, not to be confused with being egotistical which is something very different.
“Take excellent care of the front end of your day, and the rest of your day will pretty much take care of itself. Own your morning. Elevate your life.” – Robin Sharma
I was fortunate to spend a lot of time alone during the pandemic which made it possible to redesign my daily schedule from a place of authenticity and clear intention. I began getting up at five am after having read Robin Sharma’s excellent book “The 5 am Club”. This simple change changed my life.
I became aware of how important my daily schedule was to reach my goals and dreams and began to build it out to make sure that actions were aligned with long term goals. I redesigned my diet to optimize wellbeing with help from some very active friends, dropped all alcohol consumption, and started to workout daily.
The solitude allowed me to map out my own new path without the influence from people, society, and advertising. I experienced a great misalignment between what’s good for myself, society, and our environment. I learned that I need very little, very few things, only the best for what I do daily, of what the market economy can deliver.
“The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.” – Aldous Huxley
So instead of letting the world define who I am, what I need, and what I should strive for, the pandemic gave me time and space to map out this new journey on my own which was incredible valuable. My daily schedule, based on my long term goals, define what I really need every day and the rest I just ignore.
The first weeks were the hardest, brutal really, and I guess that’s why so many people drop out from their, often drunken, new year resolutions by the end of January every year. But if you stay committed to your daily schedule it will become your most powerful ally in living a simple but very rich life on your own terms.
Once you realize that everything in the world has been designed around you to produce and consume, you’re free to break this pattern and create whatever you want. The world wants you to hibernate in the dangerous comfort zone, jacked up on sugar and entertainment, when you should really embrace the growth zone.
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anaïs Nin
My strategy is to design a daily schedule where the habits and the process provide the need for comfort and the activity provide the need for growth. Getting up every day at five am, by getting to bed early and without alcohol consumption, eventually becomes very comfortable and creates tremendous opportunity for growth.
My daily schedule is based on lots of research and many iterations. It’s got a core structure but I keep it somewhat flexible as well. It covers the weekdays as I keep the weekends for physical traveling, spontaneous discovery, and socializing. And it’s built around the idea of input/output and effort/recovery.
My current daily schedule