When did everything become a “hack.” Life-hacking, diet-hacking, exercise-hacking — the list goes on. For something to be a hack than there is the implication that there is a correct way of doing things, and hacking is the shortcut. Here’s the thing, regardless of how we’ve been conditioned there is no “right way” to live your life. However it is you want to live your life, whether it’s only working four days a week, frequent travel, spending more time with your kids, chances are it’s within reach.
Life is a series of choices, and when you start making those choices on a conscious level, as opposed to simply falling inline with how the masses operate, you begin to create a pattern. That pattern can be one of happiness or misery. This doesn’t come without sacrifice — there is no having it all, at least not at the same time. However, once you identify what you value most, you can begin to evaluate all your daily decisions based on whether or not they support those values. For some it’s building a business or career. For others it’s living in a place such as New York City or other far-off destination.
Early on I made the decision that I valued my time, and how I spent it, the most. This meant I would never thrive in a 60+hour/week work environment working towards someone else’s goals. Which meant I would probably never find my way into that “top agency” or reap the type of accolades which go along with such a career. It took some time to accept this, for a while I wanted to have it all. Was I guilty of wasting my life, being lazy? For a while I was unsure. However, now it seems obvious that my values were simply different from of the mainstream career culture. I’ve accepted the fact that I may never win an award, work for a premier agency, or make as much money — but I will have more time for being active, riding my bike, hanging out with my kid, making, and reading & learning about things I otherwise wouldn’t have time for.
All successful projects have a core objective, ie; “Our goal is to X.” Once that is established, every decision can be evaluated against said objective, “Does this help achieve X?” If yes, great — move forward. If no, scrap it. Life should be approached the same way— once you figure out what your X is, solving for it starts to seem within reach. The real challenge is defining your X.
The bad news is there is no hacking life. The good news however, is if you make conscious choices and live with intent, no hacking is required.