Life is a grand project and you are the designer
As I mature in my work and life, I realize a few truths that have helped me shape my future. My goal in this post is to share these lessons with you and hopefully you will feel inspired in a meaningful way.
Whether or not you realize it, everyone is given the same 24 hours daily to create their lives.
Art is defined by its boundaries. It doesn’t matter if you are writing music that has to be cut down into a 3 minute song , or working on a painting that has to fit onto a canvas, art is defined by your ability to create something within a defined limit. Without limitation you wouldn’t be forced to make the hard decisions that are required to create something truly great.
The average person gets 42,076,800 minutes in their lives, and our lives are defined by what we do with this time. We are all faced with similar choices that we have to make on a minute to minute basis. The true greats in history shared the same time constraint that you and I do, but they were able to see this limitation like an artist sees a canvas – their awareness of the finite nature of time prompted them to boldly define their life with a series of great decisions. I won’t pretend to have the perfect answer that could be perfectly replicated to help everyone achieve greatness, but it’s easy enough to identify qualities that are similar among them all – and time management, on a daily level and on a more profound “cosmic” level, is one of the key qualities of extremely successful people. They seemingly know how to get the most out of every hour, every day, every year of life – maximizing their productivity and potential in a way that leaves a mark on the universe.
Our lives are defined by our work, whether that means work as a member of a family, a partner in a marriage, a parent to children, or the work you do in your professional life. At work we are faced with a thousand problems, and limited time and resources. Decisions need to be made on who to call next, what email to write, which client to prioritize, what article to post to your website and countless other situations. Based on the principles discussed earlier, each of these decisions have a cumulative effect on your ability to perform your best work. In order to be able to make the right decisions on what to do next you need to have a clear vision on the outcome you want to achieve – not just “today” but for your overall life’s legacy. Ideally, every day you should be contributing to your life’s magnum opus – your grand project that is at the center of your sense of purpose.
Does that sound like an overstatement or exaggeration? It’s not. I am inspired by the idea of performing your life’s greatest work. Performing your greatest work does not require perfection, rather it requires the pursuit of perfection. This means the constant goal of making the best decisions for each situation that confronts you.
I started BlackBridge Investments because I felt that in my life, working with the skills, contacts, and experience that I had, I could make decisions that would create the best company in our industry. I was inspired by the freedom and possibility to create something truly great. Everyday I am faced with decisions about how to handle transactions, how to handle customers and how to grow our company.
Creating a company requires perseverance, perspective and patience. Lots of people see the latest headlines about fast-growing companies and can’t-miss business ideas and assume (wrongly) that business success happens overnight – but the best business leaders are motivated not only by success, but by the journey and process of doing the work itself. Knowing that you will not always be perfect, but that you strive to make the best decision in the given moment is part of the game. Every learning experience along the way – even the mistakes, misunderstandings, and missed opportunities – will help you and inspire you in ways that you might not fully appreciate until years later.
Most of all, it’s important to stay focused on your long-term vision and mission. What is your overarching goal that goes beyond money or other short-term metrics of success? My goal is to leave this industry better than it was before we joined it and we are well on our way to accomplishing this. Year over year we have grown at exponential rates while entering markets where we feel we can have a positive impact. We won’t ever enter a market that doesn’t allow us to perform our greatest work.
I hope and promise that by working with BlackBridge you can also be part of the journey to create your best work.
If your entire life was to be remembered by the work you did in the 42,076,800 minutes that you had, what would that life look like? What kind of excellence would you want to be remembered for? What kind of legacy would you want others to be inspired by? And how you can you start using the time you are given today – right now – to start getting closer to that ultimate goal?
Start with these questions, and work to make the best decisions every minute after that. We’re not just business people or commodities traders – in a profound sense, we are all designers of a grand artistic project called “life.”