In 2018, Xperience Real Estate CEO and founder Chris Suarez selected the word CONTENTMENT to focus on for his growth plan. In a recent Facebook Live, Chris shared his thoughts on how linking the words contentment to growth. Here’s the question: How do you achieve contentment while still being passionate about growth? Referring to the book, Essentialism by Greg McKeown, Chris realized how powerful mastering time contributes to contentment and to business success.
CHOICE VS CHOOSE
First and foremost, when it comes to time, we need to draw a line in the sand and recognize we have a choice around everything we do with our time...or allow to be done with our time.
When we think about choosing, we often thing about giving something up. Instead, consider what you “want to go big on.” The successful will commit and “go big” on only the vital few ideas or activities. They explore more options at first to ensure they pick the right one later.
For some reason there is a false association with the word focus. As with choice, people tend to think of focus as a thing. Yes, focus is something we have. But focus is also something we do.
Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn, schedules up to two hours of blank space on his calendar every day. He divides them into thirty-minute increments, yet he schedules nothing. It is a simple practice he developed when back-to-back meetings left him with little time to process what was going on around him. He sees it as the primary way he can ensure he is in charge of his own day, instead of being at the mercy of it.
CEO Bill Gates, who regularly takes a week off from his daily duties at Microsoft to simply to think and read. He started this back to the 1980’s and even committed to this time during the height of Microsoft’s expansion. During the busiest and most frenetic time in the company’s history, he still created time and space to seclude himself for a week and do nothing but read articles and books, study technology and think about the bigger picture.
When we are unclear about our real purpose in life — when we don’t have a clear sense of our goals, our aspirations and our values—we make up our own social games. We overvalue nonessentials like a nicer car or house, or even intangibles like the number of our followers on Twitter or the way we look in our Facebook photos. As a result, we neglect activities that are truly essential, like spending time with our loved ones, developing self, or taking care of our health. When we become too disconnected and focus on unaligned activities, even if they are good activities, we fail to achieve our essential mission. Our activities and work do not add up into a meaningful whole.
Think of cleaning out your closet. Getting rid of those old clothes isn’t easy. After all, there is still that nagging reluctance, that nagging fear that “what if,” years down the road, you come to regret giving away that blazer with the big shoulder pads and loud pinstripes. This feeling is normal; studies have found that we tend to value things we already own more highly than they are worth, and thus find them more difficult to get rid of.
Ask the killer question: “If I didn’t already own this, how much would I spend to buy it?”
Likewise, in your life, the killer question when deciding what activities to eliminate is: “If I didn’t have this opportunity, what would I be willing to do to acquire it? If this wasn’t already in my schedule, would I put it in there today?”
Define CONTENTMENT: Resting in who you are and what you have. To be comfortable with the world. Happiness which consists in being satisfied with present conditions.
Chris shared a contentment formula.
First, gather all of the ingredients, time, choice, activity, money, experience, opportunity, people and mission.
Then, treat it as a math equation:
Activity x Time / Choice = Money
Money + People / Opportunity = Time
Time + Money = Experience
Time x Money / Experience = Contentment