Ep. 20: How to Live A Fulfilling Life With The “3c Framework”!

Last week I was feeling in a bit of a “funk”. So much so that I knew I needed to do something about it. I came up with 5 different ways I could get out of it. It took me doing all 5 of them but eventually it worked! To find out exactly what I did you can listen to last weeks podcast!

While I don’t get in a “funk” all that often I can find myself stuck on Facebook, surfing the web, or even reading great content from people I admire. These things aren’t bad in and of themselves and in fact I learn a lot from doing each of them. The problem is when I find myself spending more time doing those things and not enough time doing things that will get me closer to where I want to be in life. I wrote this post on Facebook last week…

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This has been a theme with me lately. In fact I had a friend of mine share his frustration with his lack of time management. He wasn’t able to say, No, and when he said, Yes, it was hard for him to commit. I shared with him a technique I have for keeping lists using a very cool system called, Bullet Journal. It allows me to really keep track of where I’m spending my time and to ensure I’m keeping on track for accomplishing the things I want to do in life. Of course, you have to do more than just write down your intentions you also have to act on them! This morning I posted this to Facebook and it got me thinking…

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I don’t and certainly shouldn’t spend all my time either creating or consuming. There’s a missing “c” to this equation and that’s cultivating. It led me to create what I’m referring to the “3c Framework for a Fulfilling Life.” So what exactly does this mean and how does it look? Let’s break it down some more…

The framework assumes we can break down our time into 3 separate and distinct (although, sometimes overlapping) categories. Consumption refers to information, entertainment, and material possessions. Create refers to anything that we produce. Art, blogs, podcasts, books, websites, products, and anything else we might make. Finally, and this was the piece I was overlooking in my Facebook post, we have Cultivation. We cultivate relationships with others, the relationship with ourself, our physical, mental, and spiritual health, as well as the physical world around us (volunteering, charity, recycling, etc.).

For most of us, myself very much included, we have times in our lives where all 3C’s are at play but they are off balance. When I was in my funk last week I was doing a great job of consuming (websites, Facebook, etc) but spent little time in creating and even less time in cultivating. My balance was totally off and this probably explains why I was in a funk and/or at least what contributed to it.

It seems to me that the correct ratio and proportion of each C to the next might vary slightly per individual, and depending on where you are in your life. Take for example the last couple months of 2013. I was caring for my mom who was on in-home hospice. During this period of my life I was was into the cultivating area (nurturing my mother’s health, and bonding with her and other family) but did very little creating and consumption. Different times will call for different flows in and out of each of these areas. However, to get us all moving in the right direction and towards a fulfilling life let’s look at what this should generally break out to. Keep in mind that this may vary slightly for you but here’s what seems to be the right mix.

It seems to me that under “normal” (figure out what normal is for you) circumstances we should be spending 40% of our time in Creating, 40% of our time in Cultivating, and 20% of our time in Consuming. Again, this is a general guideline and seems to be what works for me. So what exactly do each of the 3C’s represent?

Listen to the podcast to find out exactly how we break this out and why you should consider the “3C Framework” as your next step to living a fulfilling life! This isn’t a one man show either! Well it kind of is but the point I’m making is that this is just my opinion. I want to hear from you so please comment on this post and let me know your thoughts!

Weekly Challenge

I believe in real practical tools that allow us all to live a more fulfilling life. This is exactly why I give you a weekly challenge on each podcast. I also don’t want to make them so overwhelming that you won’t do them. And as I always say, this is about progress not perfection. So with that, I want to leave you with a simple yet powerful challenge for this week. Every day this week and before you go to bed I want you to think about where most of your time went. Were Create and Cultivate pretty evenly distributed among your day? Did you spend the remaining, and smaller amount of time, in Consumption? Perhaps this wasn’t the case and maybe that’s because you’re in a big research phase of your life or because you’re caring for a member of your family. Perhaps you’re launching a new product in a couple of weeks and all your time is in Create. Wherever your time may be going the point of this weeks challenge is to simply become aware. As you all know, the first step to any change is awareness.