When you are on your death bed, what will you think of? Will you wish that you had spent more time watching TV or browsing the internet? Will you wish that you had a bigger house or a nicer car?
Most likely you'll wish that you had spent more time with your family, spent less time working, and took more risks to soak in the experiences of life.
Jeff Bezo's coined Regret Minimization Framework. In short, one of the best ways to live a fulfilling life is to project yourself into the future when you're on your death bed. The idea is to minimize your regrets.
Faced with the pending launch of my company's new product, my mind is ironically clear and calm. First three months of this year were brutal, almost more than college. Though, during this time, I've learned more about myself than in other times. Even better, I've learned what I'm capable of.
I was able to sustain working for on 4-5 hours a sleep per night 6 days/week. I got more done in three months than I got done in two years. I did this by going on an information diet, and leveraging both the Pareto principle (focus on what matters) and Parkison's Law (set work timers). (Thanks Tim Ferriss, I actually read his book after the fact and noticed the formal labels for these techniques) It is true that through suffering, brings strength. Through suffering, you can learn a lot about yourself.
You have a mission?
I use to believe that I wanted to "change the world."
Cliche, I know.
I still believe this. Except, my thoughts on the how are more clear. I believe:
- everyone has good inside of them, therefore we should give most the benefit of the doubt
- everyone has some form of suffering, lending a helping hand or an open ear can bring someone joy
- every experience should be maximized to its full potential
- compassion and tolerance for our fellow human being must be a priority to us in order for us to be fully happy
- material possessions cloud our happiness, therefore we should reduce our material wants
- help others succeed and get what they want, and you'll find that you'll move faster on the path to your success
- we should seek to build up and create instead of tear down and destroy
- honesty above all us, the truth really will set you free
I've been told that I should enter politics. But I don't want to feel like I would have to pander to populace for votes. I think that as a businessman and philanthroper that I'll be able to effect the most positive change.
- donate to worthy local causes that can help people get their lives back in order
- build business to give jobs to those in need
- only support those politicians who believe that the rights of the individual are inherently more important than those of the state
- only support politicians who want to maximize government effectiveness while reducing waste
- only support those politicians who espouse the belief of the dignity of human lives
- only support those politicians that preach of compassion and tolerance of others regardless of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation
- lend my ear to a friend, family member, or even stranger who is in need
I take this statement to heart:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
-- The Declaration of Independence, 1776
I want to build this great nation into one that maximize's liberty (term from my great friend Brian) of its citizens. One that encourages each and every one of us to strive to do our best, to tolerate others, and to build up and create. Do not mistake this as a statement of nationalism. Rather, look at this as a statment and a guide to being a good steward of humanity.
I want to leave the world much better off than when I entered it.
If you made it this far, you should follow me on Twitter. Follow @jprichardson