We have now reached the end of 2014 and will soon enter 2015. As always, the end of the year is a good time to reflect on the lessons we have learned this year. So I’d like to ask you: What lessons have you learned in 2014? Please leave your answer in the comments so that everyone can read it. Thanks for being with me in 2014 and Happy New Year! #### P.S. In case you want to create new habits in the new year, you might want to check out HabitMaster, a habit-building app I make for iPhone and iPad. Photo by Christopher Michel
Everyone has a dream lifestyle. Living it, however, is another matter. There is one thing you must have if you want to live yours: freedom. Freedom here is the ability to live on your own terms. Without it, you can’t live your dream lifestyle because you must follow someone else’s terms. There are three components of freedom: Financial independence: having the money to sustain the lifestyle you want. Time independence: having control of how you spend your time. Location independence: having control of where your location is. The more you have of these three components, the more freedom you have, and the more you can live your dream lifestyle.
As you might know, I have a background in software development. I majored in IT, and computer programming is one of my passions. I’d like to share with you some self-improvement lessons I have learned from the world of software development. In software development, an application (or app, for short) always has a version number. It’s usually 1.0 for a new app, 2.0 for its major upgrade, and so on. With each new version, the app gets better and better. A good app never stops having new versions. The company behind it is always working on an upgrade. That, for instance, has been the case with Microsoft Word for more than thirty years.
If you want to reach your full potential, there is one thing you must do: building the learning habit. Knowledge is power, and it’s your responsibility to expand yours. One resource that I have found useful for that is Blinkist. Blinkist is a service that gives you key insights from nonfiction books so that you don’t need to read entire books. Instead of spending days on a book, you just need to spend around 15 minutes. That way you can learn from a lot more books in the same amount of time. There is now a special offer for the holiday season: you can get an extra subscription for free to give to someone else. It’s a good gift, I think. It means that not only will you build the learning habit yourself, but you will also help someone else do the same. In addition, there is a new Premium feature where you can listen to summaries instead of just reading them. Check it out and see if it’s for you.
Does the way you use your time match your priorities? It’s a simple question, but it’s essential. Many people say that something is important to them, but the way they use their time says otherwise. There is a mismatch between their time allocation and their priorities. I was reminded of it when I read Extreme Productivity by Robert Pozen. In that book, the author emphasizes the importance of aligning how you use your time with your priorities. Clayton Christensen also says something similar in How Will You Measure Your Life. The fact is, there are many things that could distract you from your priorities. If you are not careful, you could spend so much time on trivial things that you make only a little progress on your priorities.