The Importance of Implementing Themes

A silhouette of man climbing on rock, mountain at sunset. Adrenaline, strength, ambition

Assuming you take the time to reflect on your life (and you should), does it ever feel like you haven’t accomplished very much recently? Take a moment now and think back over the past year or so. Have you grown as a person? Improved your status in life or set a new personal record? Have you accomplished anything significant or impacted others in a meaningful way?

If you struggle to come up with a good answer to these questions, can you honestly say you’re really living life? More likely you’re just moving from moment to moment, breathing in an out, consuming unfiltered stimuli, and outputting nothing of value to yourself or others. A more pathetic existence would be hard to define.

What is Your Life’s Purpose?

life's purposeEven if the previous paragraph doesn’t describe you, and you are able to pick out significant moments or elements in recent memory, how much were you in control of the outcome? Did you get lucky and simply find yourself in the right place at the right time? Or did you set a plan in motion that led to a specific outcome you personally divined?

The purpose of asking so many questions at the beginning of this post is to get you stop and critically evaluate your life. Too few men take the time to do this. Self-reflection and honest evaluation of our lives is necessary in order to gain proper perspective regarding how you are impacting those around you. If you’re doing nothing of significance with your life, you can’t expect anything meaningful to happen to you. And you certainly won’t establish any deep, impactful relationships with men or women. Men seek camaraderie; women seek strength. Thus you need to build a life that breeds success and power.

Now here’s the big question: how do you develop in to a person who consistently achieves success?

Answer:  the selection, and focused implementation, of annual themes.

Time to Take Action

take actionHere’s how it works. At the beginning of every year, instead of picking some lame resolution you’ll forget about, or give up on in the next month, select a guiding theme for your entire life.

Over the course of the year, you will evaluate every decision you make against your selected theme. Each new year, you select a new theme to add on to your existing theme. You never let go of a theme, but instead combine themes together to form a more powerful guiding principle. Eventually, you have developed a maxim that defines how you live your life.

A theme should be a single word, or very simple phrase, that you believe will have a positive impact on how you make decisions, while also providing motivation to achieve new heights of success in your life. If your life feels out of control and complicated, something like “simplify” could work well for you. Do you find you have trouble following through on getting things done or seem to be easily distracted? Try “discipline” as a theme.

The specifics for how you apply a theme to your life is up to you to define. This is where you challenge yourself to grow as a man. Start simple and just keep pushing forward. Let those you trust know about your theme. They questions they ask will force you to think more critically about what you intend to do, and in the end, you will be more focused as a result.

Closing Thoughts

This fundamentally key principle has served me exceedingly well for four years now. I have walked away from negative financial situations, simplified daily life, “adopted” needy children in foreign countries, handed out numerous micro loans to fund business in emerging markets, expunged toxic relationships, doubled my income, moved across the country, traveled the world, achieved personal bests in the gym, and so much more. All while in my early 30s.

It’s not rocket science. And you can start any time. They key is to not get discourage by inevitable fuck ups. We are all fallible. But that’s what is so great about applying themes, rather than living for a single resolution. It is infinitely easier to get back on track by making the next decision count.

So make your next decision an epic one. And revel in the positive changes you are able to elicit with your newfound power.