My Personal Constitution

Posted: January 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

I’ve just started reading ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’. The second habit the author talks about is “Starting from the end”. This just means before you start any project you take some time to carefully work out exactly what you want the outcome to be. Although this may sound obvious, I think people rarely think this through. As a result they waste time perusing outcomes that aren’t what they really want, or they only have a vague goal in mind which makes them less effective.

A great example of this is game. For the majority of guys the real endgame is a happy sex life. This for most guys will consist of the ability to sleep with around 10 attractive girls a year (plenty enough for variety’s sake), having medium term relationships with some of these girls, and the option to settle into a ltr if they so wish (but then potential to play the field should always be there in case of a break up). Instead of keeping this end goal in mind, guys come up with loads of little goals which in of themselves won’t make them happy, as they are generally missing the point which is a happy sex life. These goals include:

– Sleeping with 100s of women like an mPUA
– Overcoming AA to the point where they can can approach any girl in any situation
– Getting really good at cold approach (not a bad goal at all, but it must be remembered that this is a means not an end, and there are other means that can achieve the ultimate end)
– Getting one particular girl

I’m sure there are many more. When a guy focuses to heavily on any of these he will not be effective at getting what he truly wants out of game.

The biggest project you undertake is your life itself. As such, the author urges the reader to start at the end where his life is concerned. You do this by creating a personal constitution. Just as a country’s constitution is a code by which the country lives in order to best ensure it meets its end goals and abides by its values, the same is true of your personal constitution.

You may have noticed that, towards the end of last year, many of my posts talked about the way I want to be living my life. I decided to write my personal constitution so that I could monitor what I do day to day, by checking my actions against a series of guiding principles and values. Without further ado, here is my ten item personal constitution:

1. I will strive to accomplish each and every task I undertake to a high standard.

2. I may occasionally lie to other people, but I will always be honest with myself.

3. I will always have at least one goal in life which I’m working regularly towards.

4. I will not have any habits that displease me.

5. I will please myself first, and others second.

6. I will regularly take stock of my life and my goals to ensure they are constructed in such a way that they allow me to maximise my happiness.

7. I will be willing to push through periods of pain to get what I want, but only to a certain extent. I will examine whether the end result is worth the pain and be willing to comprise, because I will remember that life is the journey more than it is the destination.

8. I will live in a clean and tidy environment.

9. I will recognise that I can’t have everything I want, and so will be willing to compromise. I will accept these comprises and not begrudge them, as this will only lead to unhappiness.

10. My ability to change the world around me has limits. As such, I will accept that it is not within my power to change other people, therefore every problem I face must either be solved by changing myself, or by accepting that the problem has no solution.

In the 7 Habits book the example constitution that is given is very altruistic, and focuses a lot on treating others well. You may have noticed when reading mine that it’s fairly selfish, but still well away from being psychopathic. This is exactly what I was going for with this. It seems to me that generally, the most successful people in life put themselves first. They may be willing to help others, bit generally only after their own needs have been met. I think this is a very good way for me to live their life. Although I will never see into intentionally harm others for its own sake, in some cases this may be a consequence of my actions and as such acceptable to me.

I also tried to be very pragmatic with my constitution. I didn’t want it to be all, “Shoot for the stars no matter what and don’t let anything stop you”. This is because I think that the payoffs for many goals people chase often aren’t worth the pain of getting there. For example take the executive who devoted his life to his job for 20 years, and yet ends up making only £80k a year while his contemporaries who put only moderate effort on earn £62k. Will this man not look back on a life not lived and not decided the £18k per annum just wasn’t worth it? After tax he’s barely richer than the guys that left their job in the office at 5pm everyday.

The other main pragmatic theme of my constitution can be summed up with the time old saying, “Shit happens”. This is simply because many things that happen in your life are simply outside of your control, and bemoaning / trying to change these things is both futile and a source of much unhappiness.

In coming posts I’ll compare my constitution with the way I’m actually living my life at the moment. Then we’ll see how far off track I am.

  1. Jim Bacon says:

    Read GTD (getting things done) by David Alan too. It is a lot more practical.

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