You Have A Choice

The picture above explains my athletic journey better than all my writings combined.

When I was in the middle, personal excellence was beyond my comprehension.

If you can sustain transformation in ANY area of your life, you have the skills to take yourself most anywhere you’d like to go.

My favorite lesson about marriage comes from a close friend.

What does it take to have a great marriage?

A willingness to do whatever it takes to have a great marriage.

This lesson applies across every domain in my life.

Whatcha doing?

I thought I might cook, clean and do laundry while the kids stare at screens…

…every day for the next decade.

Back in 2019, I decided to change the way our house was run.

First step was to burn our ships. I cut loose all our staff. COVID arrived five months later and there was no going back!

Second step was to figure out how to do it myself. It took me 20 hours to clean the house the first time I tried. Days!

Roll forward 15 months, and we have the place looking great by 8am each Sunday.

How’d we do it? I used a little psychology.

It’s not going to make sense for me to spend 20 hours a week (1,000 annual hours) cleaning. I think a lot of folks probably tap out at this point. I certainly wanted to quit.

I told myself that I only had to do it for 6 months. I gave myself the freedom to quit later, just not this week.

Note: I was tempted to quit before I’d learned the basics.

Coach Molina once told me to “give it three years” before I made any decisions about whether I was making progress!

While I was “not quitting” I reduced my cleaning time to 7 hours a week. Skills.

I noticed I made a lot less mess. Incentives.

I also noticed the rest of the family made less mess. Social Pressure.

Skills, incentives & social pressure.

Part of the reason my first few times took so long is our cleaners didn’t have the same incentives as we do. I was paying money to live in a house that wasn’t very clean.

Nobody has the same incentive to sort your life, your health, your finances… than you.

The struggle is real… I’d just asked her to put some dishes away.

Next, I asked each kid to “take one job” => specific, personal responsibility.

15 months later => I’m at 4 weekly-hours => a HUGE reduction from my baseline, my kids are learning how to take care of themselves and we save ~$10K per annum.

A superior outcome for a “problem” I was going to solve by hiring a House Manager.

  • $50,000 annual swing
  • A decade until our youngest graduates high school
  • Avoided by 4 hours a week
  • Compounding at 5% is $625,000

My goal is not to get my life to the point where I stare at a screen all day and have others take care of me => enabling my kids to live that life would be a disservice to them and, strangely, no better for me.

The goal is to live as I’d wish for my kids, and you.

Next time, we talk money => specifically, how I went from the lowest paid person in the building (1990/1991) to owning a house, that paid for itself (2001).

If last week’s financial discussion seemed impossible => I’ll break it down for you.