What’s the Most Important Skill for Living a Happier, Healthier, More Prosperous Life?

“Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he indeed is the noblest victor who conquers himself.”
– Buddha –

What’s the most important skill for living a happier, healthier, more prosperous life?

Self-Mastery. Psychologists call it self-regulation or self-control, and it’s the ability to get yourself to consistently behave in ways that move you toward your goals rather than away from them.

  • It’s the ability to set a course of action and keep moving forward no matter how hard it gets or how unmotivated you feel.
  • It’s the ability to recognize and overcome your negative habits, so you can intentionally create the amazing life you’ve imagined.
  • It’s the ability to say no in the face of increasing temptation from slick marketers and global companies who care more about their bottom line than your long-term health and financial security.
  • It’s the ability take sustained action toward your goals in the face of self-doubt and the endless array of distractions imposed by more and more technology.

I may be overstating this, but I believe it to be true. More than any other time in history, self-mastery is the essential skill that can rescue humanity from its path of over-indulgence, under-regulation and potential self-destruction.

Viktor Frankl on the Meaning of Life

“It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life – daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.”

Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

Are DUMB Goals Better Than SMART Goals?

If you’ve ever read anything related to achievement, motivation or personal development, you’ve no doubt come across the idea of Goal Setting. More often than not, the conversation revolves around setting SMART goals. This is an acronym for goals that are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-Bound

Have you ever heard of DUMB goals? I hadn’t until I watched this video from Brendon Burchard, a public speaker and best-selling author of the recently released book, The Motivation Manifesto.  

Productive Writers Don’t Reach for Excuses When the Going Gets Hard

“Productive writers don’t reach for excuses when the going gets hard. They treat writing like the job it is. They show up, punch the clock, and punch out. Nothing romantic about it. They give themselves a quota; sometimes it’s butt-in-chair time, sometimes a word count. Simple math allows you to figure out how quickly 1000 words a day adds up to a book-length work. These writers know how to use deadlines, whether external or self-imposed, to stay on track.”

From “The Habits of Highly Productive Writers” by Rachel Toor