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Forward15: Your Future in 15 Minutes a Day

Forward15: Your Future in 15 Minutes a Day

15 minutes a day to plan your future

    Planning to plan your future is a waste of time. Has talking about planning ever been useful? Has it moved your life forward?

    I think we can agree that’s a big “no”.

    For me, I’ve found I’m happiest when I’m doing something…accomplishing something. By “something”, I mean anything that I feel is bettering my life in some way –- furthering a hobby, honing a job skill, learning a bit of knowledge, making travel plans, etc. The problem is that I’ve found it difficult to stop talking about what I’m hoping to accomplish and to actually make strides towards something actually happening.

    The excuses:

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    “I don’t have time.”

    “My job keeps me too busy.”

    “Hey look, that generic show about that thing is on.”

    But like I said, planning to plan doesn’t work. What I’ve found does for me is Forward15.

    What is Forward15?

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    Well, Forward15 is when you take fifteen minutes out of the day, every day, to do something that makes you feel like you did “something”.

    Who should do it

    That would be you.

    It’s not like you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment if you outsource planning your future. Feel free to bring in that special someone in your life (they also don’t have to be that special). Doing Forward15 as a couple gives you someone to bounce ideas off of and to “tag team” your efforts.

    What you should do

    Whether it’s making a decision, submitting a payment, reserving an appointment, or researching an option, you have to have made progress that you can build on for your next Forward15. If it helps, focus on a theme per session. Travel Forward15, Education Forward15, Fitness Forward15, etc. It’ll help the time fly by and really make you feel like you didn’t waste it.

    Forward15 examples:

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    • Sign up for that course you’ve been meaning to take.
    • Research the Mexican resorts you are trying to choose between.
    • Come up with a schedule for the next month of fitness classes you’re going to attend.

    When you should do Forward15

    What works best for you? Right after work, first thing in the morning, right before bed? Whether it’s scheduled or just a matter of finding 15 minutes in a day, it’s really up to you. The only thing you can’t say is you don’t have time for it. It’s only 15 minutes!

    I don’t care if you’re the CEO of a company or the mother of a 2 year old, you can find 15 minutes. If you don’t feel you can’t, here’s how you can do just that.

    Where you should do it

    Where do you feel you can focus for 15 minutes? Do it there.

    You’re not limited by location. If your focus that day needs Google and there’s no wifi to be found, pick a different focus.

    Why you should try Forward15

    Really the most important question to answer when doing anything is: Why?

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    In 15 minutes you can make decisions that will affect your life and make you feel better doing it. Just the act of taking action in your life can help make you happier about your future and where it’s going — because it’s going somewhere.

    Think about it: a quarter of an hour, 15 minutes, 900 seconds can make you feel better about the next year, 365 days, 21,900 seconds. If it helps, picture some late-night infomercial host saying, “for just 15 minutes a day…”

    After all, isn’t it time for some forward thinking?

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    Last Updated on October 16, 2019

    Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

    Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

    Do you like making mistakes?

    I certainly don’t.

    Making mistakes is inevitable. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be at ease with them?

    Perhaps there is a way to think of them differently and see their benefits.

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    Why Mistakes Feel Dangerous

    Mistakes often feel dangerous. Throughout human history, our errors have often been treated as dangerous for a variety of reasons:

    • Our vulnerability. We have limited and fragile support systems. When those systems fail, people often lose their lives.
    • Real dangers. Nature can be dangerous, and making mistakes can put us at the mercy of nature and its animal residents seeking a meal.
    • Ignorance. Many cultures scapegoats someone whenever there is a failure of some kind. Scapegoating can be serious and deadly.
    • Order. Many societies punish those who do not conform to the prevailing orthodoxy and treat difference and non-conformity as a mistake. Even our brains flash an error message whenever we go against prevailing social norms.

    We have a history of handling mistakes and failure in an unpleasant way. Since each of us carries our human history with us, it can be a challenge to overcome the fear of making mistakes.

    If we can embrace the reality of mistakes, we can free ourselves to be more creative in our lives and dig up some interesting insights.

    Why We Can’t Avoid Making Mistakes

    Many people operate under the notion that making mistakes is an aberration, a mistake if you will. You can call it perfectionism but it is a more substantial problem. It is really a demand for order and continuity.

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    When we think we can eliminate mistakes, we are often working from a perspective that sees the world as a fixed place. The world, however, is not so obliging. Like it or not, the world, and everything in it, is constantly changing.

    Change is more constant and pervasive than we can see with our own eyes which is why we often miss it. Our bodies are constantly changing. The natural conditions of the earth change constantly as well. Everything, including economic and cultural systems have life cycles. Everything is in a constant state of flux.

    We cannot see all of the changes going on around us since rates of change vary. Unfortunately, when we try to create a feeling of certainty and solidity in our lives or operate from the illusion of stability and order, we are fighting reality and our natural evolution which is built on adapting to change.

    It is better to continually bend into this reality rather than fight every change we experience. Fighting it can cause us to make more mistakes. Finding the benefits in change can be useful and help us minimize unnecessary mistakes.

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    Lessons Learned from Making Mistakes

    Life has so many uncertainties and variables that mistakes are inevitable. Fortunately, there are many things you can learn from making mistakes.

    Here is a list of ways to harness the mistakes you make for your benefit.

    1. Point us to something we did not know.
    2. Reveal a nuance we missed.
    3. Deepen our knowledge.
    4. Tell us something about our skill levels.
    5. Help us see what matters and what does not.
    6. Inform us more about our values.
    7. Teach us more about others.
    8. Let us recognize changing circumstances.
    9. Show us when someone else has changed.
    10. Keep us connected to what works and what doesn’t work.
    11. Remind us of our humanity.
    12. Spur us to want to better work which helps us all.
    13. Promote compassion for ourselves and others.
    14. Teach us to value forgiveness.
    15. Help us to pace ourselves better.
    16. Invite us to better choices.
    17. Can teach us how to experiment.
    18. Can reveal a new insight.
    19. Can suggest new options we had not considered.
    20. Can serve as a warning.
    21. Show us hidden fault lines in our lives which can lead us to more productive arrangements.
    22. Point out structural problems in our lives.
    23. Prompt us to learn more about ourselves.
    24. Remind us how we are like others.
    25. Make us more humble.
    26. Help us rectify injustices in our lives.
    27. Show us where to create more balance in our lives.
    28. Tell us when the time to move on has occurred.
    29. Reveal where our passion is and where it is not.
    30. Expose our true feelings.
    31. Bring out problems in a relationship.
    32. Can be a red flag for our misjudgments.
    33. Point us in a more creative direction.
    34. Show us when we are not listening.
    35. Wake us up to our authentic selves.
    36. Can create distance with someone else.
    37. Slow us down when we need to.
    38. Can hasten change.
    39. Reveal our blind spots.
    40. Are the invisible made visible.

    Reframe Reality to Handle Mistakes More Easily

    The secret to handling mistakes is to:

    • Expect them as part of the process of growth and development.
    • Have an experimental mindset.
    • Think in evolutional rather than fixed terms.

    When we accept change as the natural structure of the world, our vulnerability and humanness lets us work with the ebb and flow of life.

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    When we recognize the inevitability of mistakes as part of the ongoing experiment which life is, then we can relax more. In doing so we may make fewer of them.

    It also helps to keep in mind that trial and error is an organic natural way of living. It is how we have evolved over time. It is better to be with our natural evolution than to fight it and make life harder.

    When we adopt an evolutional mindset and see ourselves as part of the ongoing human experiment, we can appreciate that all that has been built up over time which includes the many mistakes our ancestors have made over thousands of years. Each one of us today is a part of that human tradition of learning and experimenting,

    Mistakes are part of the trial and error, experimental nature of life. The more you adopt the experimental, evolutional frame, the easier it becomes to handle mistakes.

    Handling mistakes well can help you relax and enjoy all aspects of life more.

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    Featured photo credit: Sarah Kilian via unsplash.com

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