Lessons Learned the Examined Life


THE EXAMINED LIFE

Your day is filled with actions, thoughts, habits, reactions, and any other number of engagements with the world you inhabit. 

All these elements combine and build off each other to define your life.

Left unexamined life can begin to feel like a burden something to deal with rather than something to live. Whether you set the task or the task is set for you taking a bigger view of the events in your life will go a long way to lessening the load.

Not only does it allow you to offload feelings so they don't fester inside, but by putting them down on paper you start the process of creating solutions to any challenges you're facing. A perfect opportunity to overcome and grow in skills and or mindset.

This is what is meant when we hear "There's no such thing as failure. Only results."

 

 


Consideration 1: (Time Management)

If you:

  • Found you were pressed for time through the day.
  • Found that you did not get as much done as you planned.
  • Found that you felt like your day flew by. 


Then: 
Examine your Today's Targets and assess if they were the most impactful things you could have done today.

Examine your Schedule and assess if you accurately planned your day.

Examine your 13 Week Roadmap to validate if it remains S.M.A.R.T. - or if something has happened that you now need to account for.

Now:
Write down the results of your assessments in the lessons learned section.

On tomorrow's Daily Page write down in the Notes + Ideas section - One thing you can do to improve this result.

If the task feels complicated or big enough you can always add it to your Habit Tracker on the Weekly Pages- you can make sure this change happens.

Don't worry: 
Regular adjustments are to be expected, especially if you have a less than reliable schedule.

The point isn't to create a flawless plan but to have a plan that you can regularly adapt to stay on track no matter what life throws at you

 

 


Consideration 2: (Communication)

If you:

  • Found a conversation with someone went poorly.
  • Found that someone misunderstood your message or intent.
  • Found that you couldn't find the words to express yourself. 


Then: 
Examine the conversation, and pick out the points when things escalated.
Answer the following:

  • What did you want from the conversation? 
  • What could you have said or done differently to create a better result towards what you wanted?


Examine at what point the other person started the conversation.
Answer the following:

  • Did you start the main part of the conversation from the same mental place? 
  • Did you consider with real curiosity- the other person's perspective in the conversation?


Examine what you were feeling outside of the context of the conversation.
Answer the following:

  • What emotions were triggered by the conversation? 
  • Did you react emotionally, or did you take your time to think things over? 
  • Now that you are removed from the conversation what is your response? 
  • How does this response differ from the one at the moment?

Which of your values does this desired response reflect?

Now: 
Write down the results of your assessments in the lessons learned section.

On tomorrow's Daily Page write down in the Notes + Ideas section - One thing you can do to improve this result.

If this is an issue that happens regularly keep track of your responses to communication challenges on a Freedom Page. This way you can look for trends and empower yourself to find the deeper challenges to address and overcome!

Don't Worry:
Communication is a complicated thing and is entirely unique to every person, relationship, and even moment.  You'll always find places you can improve your communication, even with the closest of friends and loved ones.

 

 


Consideration 3: (Decision Making)

If you:

  • Found yourself to be indecisive.
  • Found yourself at the bad end of a decision.
  • Found a decision only created part of the desired result. 


Then: 
Examine what pieces of information, knowledge, or skills you did not possess that triggered the indecisiveness.
Ask yourself the following:

  • What can you do to acquire what was missing?


Examine which parts of the decision lead to an undesirable result.
Ask yourself the following:

  • What alternative decisions could I have made? 
  • What might the result of these different decisions be?


Examine which parts of the decision did not account for the desired result.
Ask yourself the following:

  • In your assessments to come to the decision what pieces of information didn't you have? 
  • What pieces of information was critical in creating the parts of the result that was desirable?


Now: 
Write down the results of your assessments in the lessons learned section.

On tomorrow's Daily Page write down in the Notes + Ideas section - One thing you can do to improve this result.

If this is an issue that happens regularly keep track of your decisions and their results on a Freedom Page. This way you can look for trends and empower yourself to find the deeper challenges to address and overcome!

Don't Worry: 
Decision making is a fluid process, everyone makes bad decisions sometimes. And, whether a decision is a "bad" or not is entirely subjective to the individual. Some people who have higher risk tolerances see lower risk-tolerant people's decisions as bad ones, and back the other way.

What matters is your own personal assessment, in accordance with your risk tolerance and personality. Stay true to yourself!

 

 


Consideration 4: (Project Management)

If you:

  • Found things are falling behind schedule.
  • Found things took longer than you expected.
  • Found you weren't sure how to complete a task + action. 


Then: 
Examine if you are overloading yourself with too many tasks.
Ask Yourself the following:

  • Am I concentrating on the most important and impactful tasks? 
  • What tasks am I completing? 
  • How have the completed tasks contributed to my overall progress?


Examine the types of tasks you are performing and if they engage in different skills or knowledge.
Ask yourself the following:

  • How many tasks utilize the same skill sets or knowledge? 
  • Are you jumping from logic tasks to creative tasks and back (context switching)?


Examine how many actions + tasks you were unable to complete, break these down into the smallest parts possible. Ask yourself the following:

  • Which actions + tasks are you struggling with the most? 
  • What specific parts of them are slowing you down or stopping you from progressing? 
  • What exercises can you do to practice these small parts?


Now: 
Write down the results of your assessments in the lessons learned section.

On tomorrow's Daily Page write down in the Notes + Ideas section - One thing you can do to improve this result.

If you find you are regularly unable to manage your projects effectively. Use the Freedom pages in the back of the journal to keep track of your challenges. This way you can look for trends and empower yourself to find the deeper challenges to address and overcome!

Don't Worry: 
Project management is a big part of goal setting, and there are people that study this topic for a living. It's a skill that will develop over time and is entirely unique to you and what you are trying to accomplish. So don't judge by what should be.

Judge only by what your desired result is.

Even when you have something that works, say curious and flexible. Progress over Perfection, Always!

 

 


Consideration 5: (Stress Management)

If you:

  • Found you are feeling overwhelmed.
  • Found you are feeling a lack of motivation.
  • Found you are creating reasons to procrastinate. 


Then: 
Examine how often you are doing things that energize or offer some form of relaxation.
Ask yourself the following:

  • What things give me the largest sense of relaxation? 
  • Am I scheduling these things in? 
  • What smaller less time-consuming activities can I do instead of big time-consuming ones?
Examine why you are doing the current task and look for why it's important to you.
Ask yourself the following:
  • Are you doing this because you chose it or did someone choose it for you? 
  • If you chose it, take some time to reflect on your reasons, go back in your head to the moment you chose it.
  • If someone chose it for you, examine how doing this task benefits you- what you can learn or how you can grow. Your aim is to find your own reasons to actively accept the task.

Examine what tasks you are doing instead, and the feelings you have in relation to the actions + tasks.
Ask yourself the following:
  • What benefit are the tasks you're doing instead of providing to pull you towards them? 
  • How can the tasks you're not doing provide the same benefit? 
  • How can you reward yourself or alter your mindset around them? 
  • Are you afraid to fail? 
  • Are you too concerned with perfection? 
  • What rules have you created to govern taking action?


Now: 
Write down the results of your assessments in the lessons learned section.

On tomorrow's Daily Page write down in the Notes + Ideas section - One thing you can do to improve this result.
If you find you are regularly unable to manage your projects effectively. Use the Freedom pages in the back of the journal to keep track of your challenges.

This way you can look for trends and empower yourself to find the deeper challenges to address and overcome!

Don't Worry: 
Stress management is one of the biggest challenges facing people today. We are doing more, have more information at our fingertips, are overloaded with information and distractions constantly.

Your challenge is shared around the world over. Concentrate on deep focus, concentrate on being in the moment. Just concentrate, and recognize that after you've exerted yourself significantly (1 hour or more of significant productivity) your brain, your body, and your spirit needs to recharge.

Give it the time it deserves and find gratitude that you are capable of challenging yourself to take on the things you are.

 

 


Consideration 6: (Information Gathering)

If you:
Found that in any of the previous categories something when exactly right, or was an unexpected success.

Then: 
Examine the steps, thought process, and actions + tasks that created the success.

Now: 
Write down the results of your assessments in the lessons learned section.

On tomorrow's Daily Page write down in the Notes + Ideas section - what to do to repeat the result.

If you are inclined to use the Weekly Page's Habit Tracker to practice repeating this positive result until you can do it reliably.

Don't worry: 
If you are not experiencing too many of these types of Lessons Learned "naturally", or even none! Especially if you are at the start of your journey.

As you assess all the other lessons learned you'll start to see through what doesn't work- what will.

Once you have something that works through assessment, write it and treat it in this section as if it came "naturally".

 

 


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