By Eric Waisman, Jaunty's Founder
How are you doing at life? Where are you right now? Kicking some ass? Struggling a bit? Somewhere in between?
I was recently invited to Vanity Fair's Summit here in SF. I got to see some amazing speakers, people who in a lot of ways are kicking ass and people who are changing the world. One of my favorite speakers was Jony Ive, Apple's top designer. I mean, this guy had a big hand in the design of the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad…etc. Brian Grazer, whose book I recently read about curiosity, was moderating a discussion with Jony Ive and JJ Abrams. Jony Ive said "Curiosity means you are comfortable with being wrong." Maybe we can increase our curiosity and actually be more okay with being wrong.
For me, part of that means taking risks. I've taken big risks like starting Jaunty, asking someone out, raising money from friends and family, and saying no, or sometimes yes. And every day I take little risks, like making a joke with a stranger, even though they might think I'm weird or am being serious. At Vanity Fair's Summit, I was surrounded by amazing people who had all pushed themselves in some way and taken risks to get to where they are now. It was really inspiring.
Kicking ass at life doesn't mean getting everything perfect all the time. That's impossible. But to me it's about having the courage to acknowledge when things aren't working so well and getting curious about how to make it better. Entrepreneur James Altucher focuses on being one percent better a day. I love that.
Get your shit together. Well, what does this mean? As much as I loved being the alternative punk, adored Kurt Cobain, and miss Amy Winehouse, the more I spent time with people who had their shit together, the happier I felt. Don't interpret having your shit together as being straight edge or boring either. If you really want to start to get your shit together or are motivated to learn a few things that can enhance your life, here are my thoughts on some areas to work on:
Money: This is by far the easiest to learn. I spent six years as a financial planner and I only scratched the surface of the topic of Finance. But you don't need to be a financial expert to be smart with money. According to The Pew Charitable Trusts, eight in ten Americans have some sort of debt and a Nasdaq study says 34% of Americans have revolving credit card debt. Whether it's student loans or credit card debt, it's not going to go away on its own. Educate yourself. It won't take that long. Whatever your financial situation, there are tools and things you can do to help yourself. Get curious about how you spend your money and how you could save more. Learn about the ins and outs of budgeting, credit cards, and stocks. They don't teach the differences between a student loan and a student grant in our high schools. I think they should. You are not alone.
Relationships: Everyone deserves a rich social life and a loving partner. Get curious about what kind of people you want around you. Having close friends, a partner, and the ability to get along with most people at work and in your daily life is crucial to our happiness. Some studies even show that married people live longer on average than single people. Love and support rules. Take some risks and approach more strangers. If you've already come to one of Jaunty's free social intelligence workshops, then you have some idea of what to say. If you've done our six-week course then you know you can take the conversation wherever you want.
Health: When we take care of ourselves, physically, mentally and emotionally, we feel better and are better able to function. Listen to your body. I love snacking on mochi or a falafel but I usually feel like crap afterwards. What kind of food will nourish you? What kind of exercise is your body asking for? If the gym isn't your thing, go for a hike, dance, or get on top more in bed. Here are some more fun ideas.
Get curious about what you're really curious about. What do you want your life to look like? Are you curious enough to actually do something about it…or are you only curious enough to hope something will happen? Take a step in the right direction, even if it's a small one. One percent a day better!
How are you getting your shit together today?