Imagine waking up knowing it's the last day of your life. You take a deep breath and begin thinking.
You start remembering your childhood, your first date, your first crappy job, when your child was born and everything in between life's precious moments.
You then wonder, where has your life gone? You think, "I've done nothing." You lived to wake up. To eat. To work. To drink. And to sleep.
But as far as you know, this isn't the last day of your life. You can seize the day. You can seize your life by using a principle I created. It's had a profound impact on how I live my life.
It’s called ROT. Return On Time.
There’s endless productivity systems and task managers but none of them give you a single guiding light on how you want to be working and living.
There's a single question that will help guide you to live the life you want. A life of meaning. Purpose. A life you love.
That question is:
Am I Rotting Today?
Today. It’s the most important day of your life. Your past is gone and your future hasn’t happened. You’re alive, today.
Think about it. It took me 10 years to learn this. I'd wake up a formidable foe. Ready for the next battle. Ready for the next argument. Ready for the next issue to rise.
This isn't a great place to live. There were times I'd wake up and not know my why. Or what my purpose was. Sure, I had a plan for the business. But what about my life. And how was I best impacting my business? My family?
You may feel the same way.
I've read productivity books, taken courses, hired a business coach, and yet, my "why" was unfulfilled.
Sure, I love business, building teams, products and value for clients but I often found myself struggling.
Struggling for a purpose.
Struggling to make each day a day that I wanted to live. A day that contributes well to my life, the lives of the people whom I meet and lead, and most importantly, my family and friends.
Chasing a 300 item task list was making me ROT. And still does.
But now I go into each day, asking myself…
What's My Return On Time?
Your role may be much different than mine.
And your life.
That’s okay. You’re going to have different passions and strengths. Yet, we both share a profound concept.
Return On time.
Every day you pack your bags, get the family ready (if you have one) and head to work. Yet, if I asked you, today, what's your Return On Time, you'd be speechless. You wouldn't know how to answer. Not just your work Return On Time, but your entire day.
Your entire life.
What’s your ROT score? Are you 10%, 50%, 90% rotten?
I bet you can't answer this (as I write this I'm at 10% rotten).
Your return on time is the value you create not only in your life, but the lives of others. Are you doing what you love? Are you engaging in beautiful conversations? Are you spending time with family? Are you creating value? Are you staying healthy? Are you learning and growing?
The answer to those questions will lead you to finding…
Your Guiding Light
As you look at your calendar for the day, ask yourself, am I going to be rotten today?
Schedule meaning and top priorities in your life (yes business and job priorities can be on the list). As they day comes to a close, ask yourself the same question. Was I ROTten today? This question should guide every day you're alive.
- Is this project going to make me rotten? Is it going to contribute to the companies goals? Is it going to help my career?
- Eating this cupcake, will this make me feel rotten? Look rotten?
- This relationship, is it rotten?
You can use this question in every situation. If it doesn’t make you rotten then it may be in line with your life's purpose, aspirations, and values.
And as Derek Sivers says, it’s a HELL YEA. Everything else is rotting you.
There's only one life to live. Make sure your Return On Time is worth every second.
The fundamentals of ROT
You may be thinking that this can be hard. Each day throws you new challenges. And you're right. That's life. With every light there's darkness. Life has its ups and downs. But you should always be living the life you want to live.
Have you ever bit into a rotten apple? Brown and disgusting. You immediately gage with disgust. Is that your life?
Of course, work plays a crucial role, but what are you doing at work that gives you and others meaning?
Every day has 4 fundamental things you should be achieving to help you be awesome and less ROTten.
You must take care of your mind daily. For me, that’s being creative and reading. I’m also the CEO of Skylink, so being the best damn CEO stretches me mentally.
I’m always learning and teaching.
For you, it could be exploring a new language, taking on an amazing project at work, or spending most of your day doing something you enjoy. That could be HR, learning and applying a new sales technique, or whatever the case is for you.
If you’re sitting at your desk all day and then going home to watch TV, pound down Doritos, you’re literally rotting from the inside out.
You are what you eat. Just think of the things going in your mouth and imagine your insides. Nasty!
For me, I'm active. I stand up at work, I go to the gym, take a walk outside and play with my son in the sun. It's mandatory I do this every day.
And if you know me, I'm also ruthless with my nutrition. I've gone through many days where I ate and felt bad. My fuel comes through my mouth and your’s should too. Unless you're not human
Remember, you are what you eat and you’re a product of how active you are.
If you’re active like JELLO and eat JELLO you’ll become JELLO. Mush!
I also need a minimum of 7 hours of sleep. And so do you. If you get less than this you’re fooling yourself that you're healthy.
Sleep is foundational to your overall health.
This isn't about religion. This is about you. Who are you deep down?
For me, I meditate and practice gratitude. I'm grateful for my life. I'm grateful you're taking the time to read this.
I want to live a life of inner peace and less stress (no matter what's thrown at me). This helps me achieve this.
There’s a great saying I once heard that with every light, there’s a darkness. Life doesn't control you. You control how you feel. Know there will be days of light and days of darkness. Celebrate both.
Don’t expect life to go “perfectly.” And what’s perfect? Who defines that? How boring!
I want to wake up and do the things I love. I love spending time with my family and people close to me, creating products & teams, and building my legacy. I also love meeting amazing people who, together, we can positively impact each other's lives.
All the while, being as stress-free as possible.
I’m committed to surrounding myself with good people. People who I love and can add value to their lives, and they can do the same for me. I cut toxic people from my life as fast as they enter it.
If you don't have some plan to tackle these each day, you'll be rotten by the end of it.
Your work and career is a byproduct of the life you want to live. Maybe your passion is marketing and you love writing. Go do that!
Add in ways to develop your mind, body, soul, and emotions. Live the life you want. I’m going to. Don't be rotten today. Know your Return On Time and live your life to the fullest.
And if you need help…
…download this and email me where you're struggling. I'm always happy to help.
Find your wings,
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