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My birthday was last week! (yes, I had a great time, thanks for asking!). As you move away from your twenties and into your forties, birthdays are less and less about the party and more about the necessary introspection. This occasion was no exception.
The phenomenon of The Crisis of the 40s is well known, which happens when, upon reaching the aforementioned age, we realize all the things that we have not achieved; of everything that we lack and of the immense difference between the world we imagined when we were twenty and what we have made reality. It is a phenomenon, yes, normal and almost daily. But it has its risks.
Some (and some) of 40 simply refuse to grow old, and try to regain their youth through party, bottle and new conquests. They become classic kids and it is obvious to everyone that they are looking for something that they have not been able to find. Others exaggerate necessary health and become vigorous, spending their money, their energy (and yes, their health) on unnecessary gyms and triathlons. The vast majority, however, simply silence the voices by drowning them in more and more work, more projects, more together, more business trips to become workaholics at the expense of everything else: their mental and physical health, their family and their purpose. .
In the world of business and entrepreneurship, the latter is the most popular choice, and success in business is very often pursued above all else.
There is another option.
Annual Manifests: An Anti-Crisis Tool
In his book The Midlife Crisis , make a stop along the way , the author Hugo Cuesta makes a comprehensive approach to this type of crisis and shares a tool that, this year, I decided to use for the first time: the annual manifestos .
Annual manifests are personal audits; necessary revisions of one’s life. The author makes them for the New Year, but I decided to make them around my birthday. The idea is the same: in the manifesto you briefly review the past year and set specific goals for the coming year. Yes: it is a neat version of the classic New Year’s resolutions, but with a twist : instead of being forgotten after a few days, they become a growth tool.
You do it in your business; you do it in your finances. Why not do them with yourself?
I made my first manifesto this week. It didn’t take me more than an hour. And now that I’ve done it, I wonder … how come I haven’t done it before?
The six dimensions of success
What is success? It is a ubiquitous question that can have many definitions. What is real is that, in our society, success is usually measured by a single variable: economic, despite the fact that we all instinctively know that there is much more in life to chase, like greyhounds, a rabbit than it is never reached. The rat race leads to dissatisfaction and death from exhaustion.
In the same book, Cuesta raises success from six dimensions that are in constant search of harmony:
- Professional or Business Dimension. Professional growth; studies and training; prestige and influence; strength and stability in business.
- Family dimension. Happiness at home, with your spouse and children. Real time, joint projects and monitoring of the personal project of each one of them.
- Social dimension. Friends, outings and collaboration in projects of social value.
- Economic dimension. Savings, financial freedom, debts and investments.
- Spiritual dimension. Alignment of our plan with our mission and purpose. Sense of life and closeness to our religious values, if we have them.
- Personal dimension. Mind and body health. Peace, serenity and satisfaction.
Now: we are human and the world… is the world. It is very rare that everything is always working perfectly. Sometimes we just hook up at work and earrings; in emergencies and fortnights … and we lose sight of our purpose, our long-term vision and the sense of what we are doing. We feel like boxers in the sixth round: we only take the punches and dodge the ones we can… we hit when they leave us, but we are blinded by a rhythm that never seems to stop.
That is why, if we want to grow in our businesses and in ourselves, it is more necessary to pause to reflect on our plans, our projects and our strategy to achieve them.
Businessman: you are much more than your business
This is where this tool can change your life. Do you want to start?
How do you make a manifesto? Get it in writing!
- Start by putting your name and date : Pedro Pérez, July 28, 2021, 20th birthday.
- Write your general manifesto , that is, the things you would like to achieve or do before you die. The 5 to 10 things with which you define your success:
For example : Pedro has a united and happy family. Pedro is an entrepreneur with these characteristics. Pedro climbs Mount Everest before he is 50; Pedro has five shelters for street children.
Each one has its own parameters and its own Éverest mountains. Be honest with yourself and write down those things that you really want to achieve in your life, for yourself and for others. It is not only a vision of yourself, but of the world you want to build. That’s your vision: your general manifesto. This manifesto may change over time, but it is long-term: ambitious, but achievable.
Some (and some) of 40 simply refuse to grow old, and try to regain their youth through a party, bottle and new conquests / Image: Efren Barahona via Unsplash
1. Make a brief review of your last year (one paragraph) what things happened in your life that were important and that draw your life? Good and bad things.
For example: This year we moved to another city; my second child was born; we live the challenge of the pandemic . It has been difficult for me to integrate into the new company. I have not exercised for 5 months. My grandfather Paco passed away.
2. Write your annual manifesto. What challenges are you going to attack this year ? Where do you want to be in a year? What things should you improve?
For example: Manifest: by my next birthday… I will have lost 5 kilos; I will have finished my diploma; my wife will be more in love; I will spend more time with my children; I will take my business to 25% growth.
These are personal, shorter-term goals, which you will review exactly one year from now. They will give you focus and power by directing your energy to a few very concrete things instead of many indefinite things.
- Review and project your six dimensions . A mini-SWOT analysis on each of the 6 points: an audit or a bird’s eye view of your own path to success. For instance:
- Professional or Business Dimension. The company lacks customers, how do I get them? Find a course or counseling. Hire a new accountant.
- Family dimension. I spend little time with my son. Call dads more often!
- Social dimension. Do more barbecue on Sundays. Get involved with the association and the school.
- Economic dimension. You already pay “that” debt. Restructure the mortgage. Save! Annual goal: $ 100,000 pesos.
- Spiritual dimension. Talk to Father Pepe. It takes pause.
- Personal dimension. Lose 5 kilos. Start running again. I feel very stressed, ask for help.
3. Save it . Read it as many times as necessary. Within a year, review it thoroughly and write a new annual manifesto.
Your annual manifesto is a personal management tool , which can be private or that you can discuss with someone you trust: your coach, your mentor or your partner.
The most important? The honesty. It is likely that year after year old problems will reappear or that you will not achieve some of your own goals. It does not matter! The important thing is that you are honest with yourself and that you take the time to pause to review where you come from, where you are and where you want to go.
It is the difference between improvisation and strategy; between reactivity and proactivity; between incomplete success and life satisfaction. It is one of the ways to make your life project come true.
The annual manifesto has already become one of the best experiences in my personal management. Are you willing to try it? What other tools do you know?
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