After nearly three decades on Earth, I am still trying to pinpoint just exactly how to evaluate whether or not I am living a "successful" life. At times it was about the position I held in an organization. At others, it was about the number of people I was able to impact or serve. Other times still, it was about how balanced my life was at the time.
The measure that seems most realistic as a long-term philosophy to me is to count the meaningful moments in my life. The more meaningful moments I have, the more successful of a life I am living. After adopting this philosophy, the first problem I ran into was taking account of the meaningful moments. It wasn't until I read Storyworthy, by Matthew Dicks, that I was introduced to a method of capturing meaningful moments that changed my life.
I want to start by giving all credit to Matthew Dicks for this method. I'll give a brief overview here, but if you want the full scoop, check out his TedX Talk.
The method he introduced me to in his book is called "Homework for Life." It's simple, yet profoundly impactful. At the end of each day, you write the date and record an answer to the following prompt:
If I had to tell someone a story from today, what story would I tell?
The key is to select a 5-second moment from your day to focus on. Did someone hold a door open for you? Did you receive a call you weren't expecting? Did you have an emotional reaction to something unexpected? Did you lose your temper and immediately regret it?
Homework for Life reminds us that life is a collection of 5-second moments. It reiterates the importance of these small moments and helps us to slow down and appreciate our lives, moment by moment. Not to mention, after only a few weeks, our Homework For Life document becomes a vault of rich and meaningful moments from our lives that we would have likely forgotten about.
When done consistently, Homework for Life can be a simple, yet powerful reminder that our lives are full of meaning. And by my standards, demonstrate that you are indeed, living a successful life.
Start a homework for life note on your phone. Record one entry for ten straight days.
What meaningful moments have you forgotten about simply because they weren't written down?
"Five minutes a day has changed the lives of a multitude of people, and it can do the same for you." -Matthew Dicks