Life’s ultimate question? Sounds kind of haughty, right? I mean, honestly, who honestly sits down and ponders life’s ultimate question? What even is the ultimate question? Is it wondering why we’re here? What our purpose is? What is life’s true meaning?
You’re over thinking this a bit too much, if that’s where you’re going with this right now. Life’s ultimate question is actually very simple, and you answer it hundreds, of not thousands of times, every day.
“Alright Dan, stop stringing me along. Where are you going with this?” You ask.
Well, dear reader, life’s ultimate question is…
What do I do next?
“Oh ho!” You may say, “That’s not the ultimate question! ‘X’ is the ultimate question!”
Well, you can sit there and ponder and discuss that if you’d like. I’m sure there are people who have time to sit down and ponder all these questions all the time. Heck, someday I’d like to be one of them. But, if we’re looking to make real, substantial changes in our life, “What do I do next?” is the absolute, most important question we can ask ourselves.
So how do we answer this question?
Well, we’ve talked before about our lives as skill trees, and while that works all well and good for big, overall goals we’re shooting for, it doesn’t serve to help us too much with the everyday, small-time choices we make. For instance, today I got home, and I could have written in my blog, or played some video games. I opted for blog post, because I love you guys and gals, so it was an easy choice. But not all choices are so easy.
Enter the checky boxes.
Yes, I know check boxes are standard lingo, I like checky boxes better. It’s actually a term I got from my dad, who used the checky boxes technique back when he was a road salesman to turn a $25,000 a year territory into $3.5 million dollar a year territory. Yes, the checky box technique is that powerful. The really cool thing about the checky box system is that you’ve probably already been using it for years.
Remember how we talked about you being a pre-trained sleeper agent? Well, that applies here as well. If you’ve ever completed a quest line in a game, you know how to use the checky box system.
Every day, when you wake up, figure out what tasks you need to do that day. Maybe you even have some left over from the day before. Now, write down the tasks in order of greatest to least priority. I personally like to use my smartphone for this, I just downloaded a simple notepad app for free, and I use that. Now, next to every one of these items, draw a small box.
- Birth Certificate
- Passport Paperwork
- Hang Mirror
- Write Blog Post
- Make New Dojo Flyers
- Update Dojo Website/Facebook Page
- Work on (secret blog project I can’t talk about yet)
My checkybox list for the day.
Now, as you go through your day, you have a simple game plan. If you’re doing this on paper, you might want to leave a little space between each item, in case you have a few other, higher-priority items come up during the day.
This may sound stupidly simple, and if you’re scoffing at it right now, I invite you to give it a shot. The key is to break down your tasks into manageable chunks. When you check off a box at completion, you get a little burst of dopamine in your brain.
Dopamine is the “make you feel happy chemical,” and it’s why incremental quest lines in games like World of Warcraft draw you in so well, even if they’re dumb little, “Go kill ten kobolds and then bring me a candle,” quests. Your brain likes completing things, so if you give it lots of easy, simple things to complete in a row, you get to ride a “happy wave” all day.
Websites like Reddit, StumbleUpon, Cracked, Twitter, or Pintrest all work in similar ways. It’s why you’re addicted to your facebook feed, or why you check one of the above sites a dozen times a day even if there isn’t anything new. Your brain gets addicted to the tiny dopamine releases from all those little bits of information and stimulation, and it wants more!
So, basically, what we’re trying to do with our checkybox questline system here is get your brain addicted to little bursts of productivity, rather than procrastination! Remember, the faster and easier you get your goals completed, the sooner you have time to go play video games, and the closer you get to becoming a champion.
That’s it for today! Please don’t forget to like the blog on Facebook, and follow on Twitter and Tumblr. While you’re at it, if you enjoyed this post, please share/retweet it to your friends! I’ll see you again on Thursday, with a new video post about pullups and pullup progressions! Until then, remember to live boldly, change the world, and continue to be awesome.
Dan “DaRatmastah” Wallace