This article is jointly written by Light Chaser and Antun Miron.
We are obsessed with wellbeing, defined as “the state of being well and doing well in being well” by a scientist who studies wellbeing, MacIntyre.
The enquiry into how to flourish while being engaged in being – our families and self care—and doing what we love has led us to TED.com’s blog about how to be a better human.
This post shares three of the strategies Antun and Light Chaser have both used to nurture our creative lives and allow us to flourish.
We are busy people. With family life and travel and writing goals, both of us like most people who are busy can use tools to help us use time, space and experiences toward a state of wellbeing.
Rory Varden shared four questions that allow us to stretch time for all the tasks we want to accomplish in a day.
Can I eliminate this task?Rory Varden
This question is about saying No to some tasks and making time for the things you want to say Yes to.
Recently, someone asked Light Chaser whether she wanted to take on a leadership role in a board, “while you’re here,” where she is spending time with a family member with health challenges. “It was important for me to realize that there are at least two assumptions at play in this offer,” Light Chaser says.
The first assumption was that she might want to use her expertise (she was formerly a chief executive), and the second assumption might be that she’s bored because she’s not executing as chief.
“There’s also the assumption that what I’m doing – writing and contemplation – is not considered significant enough,” she adds, “but that is someone else’s assumption and not a priority for me to address.” She said No.
“The time created by saying No to this offer is now available for the meaningful pursuits I am engaged, immersed and interested in, and that’s wellbeing in my book.”
The other three questions Varden asks are about prioritizing tasks.
If I can’t eliminate it, can I automate it?
Can it be delegated, or can I teach someone else to do this?
Should I do this task now, or can I do it later?Rory Varden from the TED blog
Prioritizing is a critical function, and is part of human problem-solving. Widening our life resources so that we can automate, delegate, and rank our to-do list serves to chunk out our time in meaningful and purposeful ways.
The space we are talking about is head space. Being busy people with projects and travel those projects necessitate in our calendar, we have to hold a lot of things in our headspace. This is normal for many people. Juggling the headspace for work, family, play and self-care can sometimes create a cluttered mind.
Ryder Carroll, whom we also found in the TED blog has some effective ways to de-clutter.
Antun has found he actually has two jobs, one is to write and the other is to build a business. And, he is also a devoted partner to Gabi. That’s three significant tracks of thought in his mind. Oh, and he also guest posts on Light Chaser Life.
How does he apply Carroll’s hack into his life? Here’s Carroll’s advice from the TED blog and Antun’s interpretation in real life.
Life Hack step 1: Create a mental inventory.Ryder Carroll
“There’s an old tool called the Gantt chart that I’ve used to keep track of ideas that are part of processes, like writing,” Antun says. He uses his chart to find the key items that he’s broken down into big goals, subgoals and daily goals. The daily goals become his to-do inventory of the day.
Life Hack step 2: Consider why you’re doing each of these things.Ryder Carroll
“When you break down your goals into smaller actions, it helps you focus,” Antun explains. When he has a list of daily goals, he goes through them in the morning and decides the purpose of each one. That allows him to go to the next step in Carroll’s strategy.
Life Hack step 3: For every item on your list, ask two questions. “Is it vital?” and “Does it matter to me or someone I love?”Ryder Carroll
“Asking these questions brings me back to my two loves in life: my wife and my writing.” Antun adds, “I don’t waste time debating the to-do tasks because I know why each might be important in my work and my relationship. And that’s all there is to the day. Building relationship, and building my skills – these are the balance between being and doing that I pursue for wellness each and every day.”
Life Hack step 4: Take what’s left, and divvy it up.Ryder Carroll
The strategy that Carroll suggests serves to streamline Antun’s 16-hour days and gives him time to include long walks, swim laps, and significant self-care and relationship care into his day. “It’s not negotiable that I leave things like relationship and wellness out of a busy day,” he says, “because that’s what I believe it takes to flourish as a human.”
The third strategy we use is being more mindful. The awareness that lives inside this strategy by Fred Bryant and Joseph Veroff is from Bryant’s book of summitting a mountain.
In a way, we are all climbing our own ‘mountains.’ Striving for balance of being and doing in a world that glorifies doing most of the time and dismisses what we value – communication, relationships, self knowledge, authorship of our lives—as ‘too soft’ is a steep and monumental task.
In this mega-task of finding a balanced life and flourish as a multidimensional being, we often have to be our own cheerleaders and coaches as we tread up the slopes of criticism and misunderstanding.
The strategy by Bryant and Veroff is very much what we believe at Light Chaser Life – finding delight in our world.
The strategy is this: savor moments. Notice and observe what’s going on, in detail. This creates awareness of a lot of things that help us be more grateful:
- Beauty in nature
- Things people do that make them heroic in their everyday lives like striving, persisting, being courageous, being free
This awareness also touches the past and future. It allows us to anticipate, which is different from expecting. “Anticipation for something adds excitement and joy to our calendar,” says Antun, “and it’s different from expectation, which could be dangerous because it sets us up for disappointment when things don’t go as expected. Anticipation is a source of joy.”
Light Chaser adds, “Anticipation allows us to set the goal to notice things once we are there in that anticipated experience. Because we anticipate sharing the experience with others we care about.”
Bryant and Veroff call this effect “the mind as a time machine” which is to capture moments for the purpose of becoming a pleasant memory when it becomes past, or for the joy of anticipating being able to share it in the future.
Finally, Bryant and Veroff give some practical ways to increase the depth of experience.
Find ways to linger : Here’s Light Chaser’s experience of pausing in Guimaras.
Have a Daily Vacation : Here’s Antun’s take on taking a break.
Unplug from the distractions : Lampungan was not about selfies for us.
Move slowly through moments : Time spent with a dancer yields important lessons.
Pay attention : Antun and Gabi learned batik by paying attention.
We believe that we should not have to choose between life and work. Both are equally important to us. We want to nurture those inner resources to make this balance happen.
Getting there is part of the ways we can flourish.
Traveling in peace and friendship,
Light Chaser and Antun Miron