So much of our life these days is scheduled around work, kids, family commitments and general life admin.
Many of the hard-working readers of this blog know exactly what I mean.
You devote so much time to working to get head and being financially free that it leaves very little time to just ‘be’.
And yet if there’s one thing I’ve noticed about really successful entrepreneurs it’s their commitment to taking time out from the grind.
They work extremely hard, of course, especially in the early days, but they’re also fanatical about needing time to themselves.
It’s something that entrepreneur and Virgin founder, Richard Branson, talks about a lot.
He even claims that success follows happiness and not the other way around.
Here’s how he put it on his blog site:
“I know I’m fortunate to live an extraordinary life, and that most people would assume my business success, and the wealth that comes with it, have brought me happiness. But they haven’t; in fact it’s the reverse. I am successful, wealthy and connected because I am happy.”
I’m a big believer that happiness is not a state you strive for but a daily habit of appreciating the small things.
That’s why you need a to-be list, as well as your standard to-do lists.
Why? Because to-be lists remind you of what’s important in life, and why you’re working so hard in the first place.
Here’s four things that should be top of your to-be list:
1. Be connected
And by connected, I don’t mean online or through social media.
What I’m talking about is the connection to other people that’s needed to give life meaning.
So make sure you put time and effort into your relationships with your family and friends.
Remember that they’re on the success journey with you and are impacted by how happy and fulfilled you feel.
Good relationships with friends and family make the hard work worthwhile.
2. Be aware
When we get stressed, it’s easy to live upstairs in our own heads, wading through the ins and outs of a work issue.
Days go by and we barely notice our surroundings because we’re too busy doing rather than being.
To break this habit, I recommend making a real effort to notice your surroundings and the people you’re with.
Are they left-handed or right-handed?
What makes their faces interesting to look at?
This might sound like an odd exercise, but it enables you to be in the moment with someone and fully present.
3. Be respectful
Look, I get it.
Everyone thinks that whatever they’re doing is the most important thing in the world.
While you need to have a confident approach to be successful in this world, that doesn’t mean you need to walk over people.
Be single-minded about your business and chasing success, but always be respectful to people along the way.
After all, they’re not separate from what you’re trying to achieve.
They’re part of it.
4. Be grateful
It’s very trendy to talk about being grateful, but how many of us actually are?
If road rage is anything to go by, not many!
I live in Melbourne, which is regularly voted the most liveable city in the world, but people will still swear at you for accidentally cutting them off when driving.
This is not to knock Melbourne — it’s the best city in the world if you ask me — but I’m just trying to point out that too many of us sweat the small stuff when we should be thanking our lucky stars that we get to live here.
After all, if we were born into a poorer part of the world, we would not have the freedom to chase our dreams and achieve financial independence.
It would just be living from paycheque to paycheque.
Which, in the end, is the whole point I’m making about the to-be list.
It’s a privilege.
Most people in the world only have to-do lists, but because we are lucky enough to have opportunities at our feet, we get to focus on being as much as doing.
And the irony is the more we focus on being, the more successful we are in the world.
You attract better people (and better opportunities) and your relationships improve with those around you.
So, keep across your to-do list, by all means, but don’t forget your to-be list either.