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2×4: An Interview with Patrick Rhone

2×4: An Interview with Patrick Rhone

    Patrick Rhone has a gift. He takes things that seem ordinary, things that are so easily overlooked and helps you to see the opportunity in them. He doesn’t tell you how to do this. He doesn’t give you the paint by numbers. He makes you do the work, but shares how he goes about doing it himself. As I said in my review of his latest book, enough, “Rather than providing a checklist for being more mindful, it felt as if I was allowed to examine the benefits from a more mindful existence.”

    Patrick shows you the potential in the ordinary and the ability to make everything, especially yourself, better. He’s also a voice of reason for needing less rather than more stuff to achieve that better self.

    Without further ado, here’s a look at how Patrick Rhone, the creator of Minimal Mac and the thinker behind the enough book and podcast approaches his creative and productive pursuits.

    Creativity

    Have you always considered yourself a creative person?

    Yes. I come from a family of creatives. My mother is an actress and director. Her mother was a world class concert pianist. So, it is in the genetics I guess.

    What mediums and inspirations do you gravitate toward to realize your creative goals?

    Well, as a writer I’m inspired by nearly everything in life. I’m in near constant search for an interesting story to tell and those can be had almost anywhere. Example:

    The magnolias, having suffered a few years of neglect, were beginning to look more bush than tree. Renegade shoots and leaves covered the bottom blocking the sun from the other plants below. Therefore, loppers in hand, I set out to shape them back into a more beguiling form fitting their true nature.

    That is simply the beginning of a story about my yard work from this afternoon. But, I also look for the often unseen connections between the mundane and the extraordinary.

    For instance, the story of trimming a tree in order to shape it and help it grow could easily be a metaphor for our lives and a possible path to self-improvement. Trimming the excess that is sucking energy from the trunk is a pretty good idea for our lives as well.

    As for mediums? Well, I like a saying a friend recently spoke to me which is “Paper is never passive”. I find much truth in this.

    If you had to point to one thing, what specific posts or creations are you most proud of and why?

    My two books — Keeping It Straight and Enough (note: please link to these???). Mainly because, well, writing books is a very hard thing. Writing a book one is proud of and that one believes can really make a difference is even harder. These two items represent the best of my work released thus far.

    Any suggestions for those who feel they may not be creative enough to unlock their inner artist?

    Sure. Stop lying to yourself. Sit down. Do the work. Seek constant improvement. Don’t be afraid of reaching out to those in the field you admire and ask for their suggestions. Take them to heart. Put them to practice. Then, sit down and do the work.

    Creativity is not a blessing, it is a habit.

    Productivity

    Can you describe your current personal and professional responsibilities?

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    There is not enough space for this but let’s try…

    Writer.  Podcaster. Blogger. Author. Essayist. Speaker. Technology Consultant. Father (of three, two are adults). Husband. Homeowner (of 3 houses). Lover. Fighter. Buddhist.

    How do you go about balancing the personal, professional and digital?

    With great care, some skill, and not nearly as much success as I would like. This is simply life and I do the best I can.

    What tools and techniques do you find yourself counting on to get through your workload?

    Pen and paper is essential. I always have both at hand.

    OmniFocus for when things get to big for even pen and paper to manage.

    I try not to remember life before my iPhone.

    What is the best starting point for the unproductive amongst us, who are looking to get more organized?

    Quantify everything that has your attention (or deserves it), decide what you need to do about it, then do it. That is the basis of every successful productivity method ever written.

      More by this author

      2×4: An Interview with David Sparks 2×4: An Interview with Myke Hurley 2×4: An Interview With CJ Chilvers 2X4 Interviews 2×4: An Interview With Gabe Weatherhead 2×4: An Interview With Brett Kelly

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      Last Updated on February 15, 2019

      How Setting Personal Goals Makes You a Greater Achiever

      How Setting Personal Goals Makes You a Greater Achiever

      Achieving personal goals deserves a huge amount of celebration but setting these goals in the first place is a massive achievement in itself.

      While the big goals serve as a destination, the journey is probably the most important part of the process. It reflects your progress, your growth and your ability take control and steer your life towards positive change.

      Whatever your goal is, whether it’s losing 20lbs or learning a new language, there will always be a set amount of steps you need to take in order to achieve it. Once you’ve set your sights on your goal, the next stage is to take an assertive path towards how you will get there.

      The aim of this article is to guide you through how to take action towards your personal goals in a way that will help you achieve them strategically and successfully.

      1. Get very specific

      When it comes to setting your personal goals, honing in on its specifics is crucial for success.

      It’s common to have a broad idea of where you want to go or what you want to achieve, but this can sabotage your efforts in the long run.

      Get clear on what you want your goal to look like so you can create solid steps towards it.

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      Say you have a vision on retiring early. This goal feels good to you and you can envision filling your days of work-free life with worldly adventures and time with loved ones.

      If retiring early is a serious personal goal for you, you will need to insert a timeframe. So your goal has changed from “I’d like to someday retire early and travel the world” to “I’m going to retire by 50 and travel the world”.

      It may not seem significant, but creating this tweak in your goal by specifying a definite time, will help create and structure the steps needed to achieve it in a more purposeful way.

      2. Identify the preparation you need to achieve your goal

      It’s easy to set a goal and excitedly, yet aimlessly move towards it. But this way of going about achieving goals will only leave you eventually lost and feeling like you’ll never achieve it.

      You have to really think about what you need to do in order to make this goal possible. It’s all very well wanting it to happen, but if you just sit back and hope you’ll get there one day will result in disappointment.

      Self-managing your goals is a crucial step in the process. This involves taking control of your goal, owning it and making sure you are in a great position to make it happen.

      In the early retirement example, this would mean you will need to think about your financial situation.

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      What will your finances ideally need to look like if you were to retire early and travel the world? How much money will you need to put into your retirement fund to retire at 50? How much extra savings will you need to support your travels? You could also start researching the places you’d like to travel to and how long you’d like to travel for.

      Outlining these factors will, not only make your goal seem more tangible, but also create a mind shift to one of forward motion. Seeing the steps more clearly will help you make a more useful plan of action and seeing your goal as a reality.

      3. Breakdown each step into more manageable goals

      The secret to achieving your goals is to create smaller goals within each step and take action. Remember, you’re looking for progress, no matter how small it may seem.

      These small steps build up and get you to the top. By doing this, you also make the whole process much less daunting and overwhelming.

      In the early retirement scenario, there are several smaller goals you could implement here:

      • Decide to make an appointment with a financial advisor asking what financial options would be available to you if you were to go into early retirement and travel. Get advice on how much you would need to top up your funds in order to reach your goal on time.
      • Set up and start to make payments into the retirement fund.
      • Research savings accounts with good rates of interest and commit to depositing a certain amount each month.
      • Make sure you meet with your financial advisor each year to make sure your retirement plan remains the best one for you. Research new savings accounts to move your money into to reap the best returns in interest rates.
      • Start investing in travel books, building up a library that covers where you want to go.
      • Think about starting a language course that will help you get the most out of your travel experience.

      4. Get started on the journey

      Creating a goal planner in which you can start writing down your next steps is where the magic happens. This is where the real momentum towards your dream starts!

      Create a schedule and start by writing in when you will start the first task and on which day. Commit to completing this small task and feel the joy of crossing it off your list. Do this with every little step until your first mini goal has been reached.

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      In the early retirement example, schedule in a meeting with a financial advisor. That’s it. Easy.

      As I mentioned before, it may seem such a small step but it’s the momentum that’s the most important element here. Once you cross this off, you can focus on the meeting itself, then once that’s ticked off, you are in a position of starting a profitable retirement fund…and so the momentum continues. You are now on your journey to achieving your dream goal.

      5. Create an annual review

      Taking a step back and reviewing your progress is essential for keeping yourself on the right track. Sometimes you can be moving full steam ahead towards your goal but miss seeing the opportunities to improve a process or even re-evaluate your feelings towards the goal.

      Nominate a day each year to sit down and take a look at your progress. Celebrate your achievements and how far you’ve come. But also think about changing any of the remaining steps in light of new circumstances.

      Has anything changed? Perhaps you got a promotion at work and you feel you can add more to your monthly savings.

      Do you still feel the same about your goal? It’s normal for our desires to change over time and our personal goals need to reflect this.

      Perhaps you’d like to take someone new with you on your travels and you need to take this into account regarding timelines. Are there any new steps you want to add as a result?

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      Remember, reflection is a useful tool in realigning your goal to any changes and it’s important to keep on the right trajectory towards it.

      Strive to become the best goal-setter you can be

      Having personal goals gives you purpose and the feeling of becoming a better version of yourself.

      But it’s the smaller steps within these big goals that the growth and achievement really lies:

      • Whatever your goal is, make sure you get specific on when you want to achieve it. This helps you focus on the necessary steps much more efficiently.
      • Research the actionable steps required to get to the end result and…
      • Break these down into smaller, manageable goals.
      • Create a daily or weekly schedule for these smaller goals and start the positive momentum.
      • Reflect each year on your goal journey and purpose, readjusting steps according to changes in circumstance or desire.

      Keep going and always have the end goal in sight. Remember the ‘why’ behind your goal throughout to keep you motivated and positive.

      More Resources About Setting & Achieving Goals

      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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