Recently, I took a moment to reflect on some of my favorite quotes, particularly one by Socrates that resonated deeply: “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
I first encountered this quote from my mentor, Mark Burget, when I was much younger. At the time, I didn’t fully grasp its meaning.
Like many ambitious individuals fresh out of college, I was driven to succeed. Mark had accomplished the kind of success I aspired to. After becoming a top tax attorney, he had risen to the position of managing director at one of the region’s most prestigious law firms.
During that period, I was invited to hear Mark speak, mainly because I wanted to emulate his success in my own career. Little did I know that Mark’s talk for that group of young men would center on his faith and the importance of being an intentional father and husband.
One particular comment Mark made has stayed with me: “If you have success at your job but fail at home – that is not success.” That statement held a profound wisdom.
Mark exemplified what success looked like at home. He consistently prioritized spending time with his family over career advancement opportunities. He was renowned for being a devoted and loyal husband, and he raised five remarkable children who developed strong relationships with him.
I, too, have strived to prioritize success in my personal life over work, but it hasn’t always been easy. I must admit that I have failed numerous times to put my family first.
One incident stands out vividly in my memory. When my son, Austin, was around four years old, he had a dad/child event, but I chose to attend a networking event that, in hindsight, held little importance. My desire to be “successful” led me to make a regrettable decision and miss out on an irreplaceable opportunity.
Now, Austin is fourteen, and I can never recapture the chance to experience the joy of being with my four-year-old son on that particular day.
Like many others, I face numerous competing interests in life and struggle to follow through on my stated priorities. Thankfully, my incredible wife has consistently reminded me over the years of where my focus should lie and helped me realign my priorities.
One thing I lacked in my youth was accountability, which I believe is crucial for living a life that reflects one’s true priorities.
About two years ago, I hired a performance coach named Chris Hart from Brave Group to provide that needed accountability.
One of the core concepts Chris introduced was his 6Fs framework, designed to help me direct my attention toward areas that require intentional focus. These six core areas are:
Here’s how it works: next to the 6Fs, you create three columns:
- Must: Ideal habits to be practiced each week
- Should: Stretch goals to enhance existing habits
- Could: Aspirations and dreams
Family stands as one of my top priorities. The 6F framework assists me in aligning my necessary habits to ensure that my life genuinely reflects this priority.
My “Must” for Family is to have deep one-on-one connections with each family member at least once a week. It could involve having a meal or going on a long walk with my wife, or playing basketball or video games with my sons.
The activity itself is not as important as the time spent together. Life is not measured by time, it is measured by moments.
So, I share this framework that’s been invaluable for me with you in hopes that it helps you to also become more intentional in your life.
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