Living Foward - Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy

Living Foward - Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy

Video Book Summary

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Book Summary Notes 

Living Forward

“In this book we want to provide the clarity you need to articulate a vision for your life—your whole life—and develop a plan for getting to a better destination." 

"It’s all about being fully awake to the realities of our personal and professional worlds and using that fresh level of awareness to make better decisions and tell better stories with our lives."

"Living Forward will heighten your sense of what’s truly possible for you in life. If you feel out of balance, aware that your current pace is unsustainable; if you are making great gains professionally but don’t want to neglect personal priorities if you want to have better focus to succeed financially; if you have gone through a recent tragedy and suddenly become aware that life is short; if any of those are true, this book is for you."

"Living Forward will equip you to make better decisions in every area of your life. The good news is that we have more control than most of us realize. Each day is filled with thousands of opportunities to change the story of our lives. We want to help you make the most proactive, intentional, and beneficial decisions possible."

"Finally, Living Forward will position you to make the most significant contribution in this world that you can and add the most value to those around you.”

How's your life plan looking?

That's what we're looking into today!

Not the 'white picket fence and 2 kids in 5 years' type of plan though..

This is about the true contribution you can have during your lifetime.

Something most of us haven't even thought about..

Just living a normal life, is stressful, tiring and distracting enough!

But writing down your life plan is an absolutely must-have in my books..

This book is like having a life coach walk your through their entire process for cultivating your vision.

The exercises we're going to share will cause you to look at life differently, make changes and take chances!

This book is all about connecting to your purpose, not living passively and cultivating the life you want. 

The Drift

“Life Planning is the exact opposite of the drift."  

"The drift is about passivity. Life Planning is about proactivity. The drift is about blaming our circumstances and other people."

"Life Planning is about taking responsibility. The drift is about living without a plan. Life Planning is about having a plan and working it.”

Life is a lot like a trip down the river..

Of course you've got the ability to drift.

  • Which takes much less energy and forethought..
  • But also leaves you at the mercy of the current!
  • If you're not careful you'll pick your headup in 5 years and realize you haven't rowed yourself even once..

Or you could paddle actively!

  • This involves using more energy, and knowing where you want to go!
  • Of course paddling will get you where you want to go faster, but of course we don't want to paddle in the wrong direction.

Smart sailors understand both and follow a process:

  • Step 1: Get your bearings, take some time to understand where you are.
  • Step 2: Chart a course!  Where do we want to end up?
  • Step 3: Start paddling.  This is how we start to make progress.
  • Step 4: Let the current do a little work.  Stop paddling for a moment and learn if you're going with the flow.

What stage are you in right now?

Life Plan

“While others have written or spoken on this topic as well, the term Life Plan seems to have been commandeered by the financial services industry." 

"If you Google the phrase, 99 percent of the results point to websites selling financial or insurance products." 

"Not us. We are using this phrase to refer to a specific kind of document. When we say Life Plan, here’s what we mean:"

"A Life Plan is a short written document, usually five to fifteen pages long. It is created by you and for you. It describes how you want to be remembered. It articulates your personal priorities."

"It provides the specific actions necessary to take you from where you are to where you want to be in every major area of your life. It is most of all a living document that you will tweak and adjust as necessary for the rest of your life.”

Write it down!

This life plan is a living breathing document..

  • Something that you can look into and be deeply inspired, check in with to see you progress or where you're off course and a guiding light when things get hard!
  • The document isn't something you write once and never touch again.  It's something that changes as you do!

Why don't we think about this enough?

  • Likely for a similar reason that we often don't plan well enough for our financial futures..
  • Human's didn't evolve to spend time worrying about the future, we needed to think about what was right in front of us!
  • Mountain Lions take precedence over stashing enough firewood away for retirement..

What is a life document?

  • 1. 5-15 pages long.
  • 2. Captures how you want to be remembered.
  • 3. Identifies what's truly important to you.
  • 4. Creates a plan to get there.

3 Questions

“The same is true when it comes to your Life Plan. It is the result of answering three powerful questions. Let’s consider them one at a time."

"Question 1: How do I want to be remembered? In planning anything, the best place to begin is at the end. What outcome do you want? How do you want the story to end? How do you want to be remembered when you are gone?"

"Question 2: What matters most? Maybe you have never given yourself permission to ask this question. what’s important to you? What matters most in your life? This is a question about priorities. No one else can decide what they are for you."

"Question 3: How can I get from here to where I want to be? If you are going to improve your life and realize your potential, you will have to figure out where you are now; where you want to be; and how you get from one to the other.”

The foundation of your life plan..  3 Questions!

How do I want to be remembered?

  • Begin with the end in mind, this reminds me of the funeral exercise I learned from Brian Tracy.
  • Imagine you're a ghost visiting your own funeral, what do you want people to say about you?
  • This is a powerful exercise because it uncovers what truly matters! (Which is our next question). 

What matters most?

  • What do they mean by 'you've never given yourself permission' to ask this?
  • Well we often lead our life based on the opinions of others, society at a whole or what we're told on TV.
  • While writing our life plan we want to as much as possible distance ourself from those influences.
  • Instead we should focus on our hearts true calling, our real desires and let those guide us!

How can I get from here to where I want to be?

  • Now into the practical..  Don't just wish this into existence, understand the obstacles and create a plan!
  • Gabriele Ottengen in Rethinking Positive thinking gives us a great tool for this. WOOP:


What do you want to see in your life?  

Try to imagine something challenging yet doable

Play around with timeframes; year, month, week or day.


What is the number one thing you will benefit you will receive when this is achieved?


What is an obstacle that stands in the way of you achieving this? 

*This obstacle should come from within you..  External obstacles we don't always have control over. 

Example: Anxiety, Apathy, Loneliness or Conditioned Response


What can you do to overcome that obstacle?

What is one effective thing you could do?

Let's start small!

What is one behavior or habit you'll need to pickup to achieve your plan?

What is one behavior or habit you'll need to drop to achieve your plan?


“Keeping you eye on the future is essential for making the most of today." 

"You need to acknowledge where you are, but you also need to see clearly where you are going. What do you want in each of the major categories of your life? What would they look like in their ideal state?

"What’s important is that the future be enticing enough to stay focused. We call this pull power."

"A goal needs to draw you.  Pull power is essential to reach our goals. You need to see a future with such clarity and desirability that you will go through all the uncomfortable things life throws at you to attain it.”

Are you constantly having to push yourself towards your goals?  Or do they pull you like a magnet?

The cost of constantly needing to push..

  • It's extremely tiring to push yourself towards something day after day.
  • When you're already tired and unmotivated it's unlikely you'll do what you set out to do.
  • The process isn't enjoyable when you're constantly having to push yourself!

The benefits of a compelling pull..

  • When you've got a big enough dream, vision or plan it pulls you effortlessly through the work it takes to get there.
  • All your hard work and sacrifice feels like accomplishment and is self perpetuating.
  • Robert Fritz inside his book the path of least resistance tell us "The human spirit will not invest itself in a compromise.”

Creating a compelling pull means you need to have a true understanding of what you want..

But it also means you're not willing to compromise or say this is 'good enough'

Let's start!  Create a compelling pull.

  • Take some time to capture your ideal vision in these areas of your life.
  • 1. Relationships
  • 2. Business/Career
  • 5. Mental Health
  • 3. Fitness/Health
  • 4. Finances

You First

“If you’ve traveled by plane, you’ve undoubtedly heard the flight attendant say something like this: ‘In the event of a change in cabin pressure, panels above your head will open revealing oxygen masks.’" 

"If you’ve traveled more than occasionally, you can probably recite the rest of the spiel: ‘Pull the mask down toward you to activate the flow of oxygen. Cover your nose and mouth with the mask. Place the elastic band around your head and continue to breathe normally.’ And then they always say, ‘Remember to secure your own mask before assisting others.’

"Why? Because if you run out of air, you can’t help anyone. Here is a little insight into how we look at life. We have to attend to ourselves first (second only to God for us) in order to be spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and physically available to others."

"If you have trouble with the semantics of putting yourself first, think of it as preparation to serve others.”

Take care of yourself first..

This is hard advice for people with personalities like mine!

  • I tend to be the opposite, taking care of the people around me first.  Ignoring my needs.
  • Anyone else?  This is a common trait.

But this is a habit I commit to breaking..

  • Why?  Because it's actually backwards!
  • If we're constantly over-focused on the wellbeing of others and not ourself we burnout.  
  • Making us unable to help anyone at all!

This is easier said than done for sure!

  • One belief that's helped me recently is realizing that people are better off if you give them the chance..
  • Give them the chance to put their own mask on!  Take control for themselves and not rely on you.
  • Don't get me wrong, if someone is in need I'm there.  But I'm not going to be afraid to let them try themselves first.

The Law

“If you’ve heard renowned business and life thought leader Jim Rohn’s ‘law of diminishing intent,’ you know why this is important." 

"The law of diminishing intent says that the longer you delay doing something, the less probability you have of actually doing it."

"You lose all the emotional energy. That’s why we encourage you to schedule a day within the next two weeks to create your Life Plan.”

The distance between..

The Law of Diminishing intent is all about the distance between thought and action!

  • If you plan to start working out next month it's likely that next month will become next next month..
  • Have you ever set a goal or made a realization and felt fired up?  That's a great feeling right?
  • That feeling is fleeting!  

Now you know..

  • The Law of Diminishing intent will come around!  How do we fight against it?
  • Whenever you're starting something new, don't spend time fantasizing about the end result.  

This tend to zap our motivation and wastes valuable time.

When we spend all day focusing

Instead, follow this process:

Step 1: Ready to start something new?  Realize the feeling you have now will diminish. 

Step 2: Look at the obstacles that will get in the way of you accomplishing your outcome.

Step 3: Change your environment so it will be easier (when you have less intent) to follow through. 

Step 4: Set some IF THEN statements for when you inevitably run out of steam. 

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