Life can be overwhelming and directionless at times. We often feel lost and unsure of where we’re headed or what we want to accomplish. In times like these, it can be helpful to have a clear vision and a set of guiding principles to steer us in the right direction. One way to do this is by creating an imaginary “Board of Directors” to help direct your life in a more intentional way.
Everyone wants a mentor these days, but how easy is it to find someone who aligns 100% with the vision you have for yourself? In the past, I’ve written about building a persona to act as the CEO of your life – an overarching decision-maker who can hold you accountable and ensure your actions align with the “company’s” mission. It’s an exercise I use often – whether I’m contemplating sleeping in one day, skipping a meeting, or worse yet, lying to someone to make my life easier.
The CEO wouldn’t stand for that, right?
The trouble with this fantasy is how obvious it is that I’m just tricking myself. After a while, I start ignoring the CEO and doing things behind his back. Hence my decision to create a Board of Directors.
So I asked myself, “Who do I admire? Who has a purpose or vision that I’d like to emulate for my own life?”
Your Board of Directors should be composed of people you admire and respect. They should be individuals who possess qualities and traits you wish to emulate. These could be successful business people, artists, athletes, or any other person you feel embodies the kind of life you want to lead.
After some thinking, I took out a notebook and listed out people who I look up to for motivation, inspiration, and character. The list is as follows:
- Marcus Aurelius
- Tim Ferriss
- Joe Rogan
- Jocko Willink
- Jay Shetty
- Chris Williamson
- Ryan Holiday
- James Clear
- David Goggins
- Jordan Peterson
- Lex Fridman
- Brené Brown
- Mel Robbins
- Aubrey Marcus
- Lewis Howes
I quickly noticed a common thread: all of my heroes are authors, podcasters, or entrepreneurs who carved their path by serving others through their passion for improvement and continual learning
It helped reveal my values. It made my vision crystal clear.
Ultimately, we want to be our ideal selves, right? And the people you admire are your idealized self in some way. There’s a reason you spend so much time consuming their work more than any other person. That’s why we idolize certain people; we want to be like them. Choosing who will sit on your Board will reveal your true values.
It’s important to note – your Board of Directors doesn’t have to be limited to real-life people. You can also include fictional characters, historical figures, or even archetypes that represent different aspects of your personality – think Atticus Finch, Yoda, Jane Eyre, or Hermoine Granger.
The key is to choose people who inspire you and who can help guide you toward the kind of life you want to lead.
Once you’ve identified your Board of Directors, you should consider their advice carefully when making important decisions. You can ask yourself questions like, “What would Marcus Aurelius do in this situation?” or “How would Jocko Willink approach this problem?” By looking at your decisions through this lens, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions and avoid making impulsive choices that may lead you off course.
This can be such a powerful motivator to stay on track and make choices that align with your goals and values. You can imagine this group of mentors looking over your shoulder, observing your actions and decisions.
To maximize the benefits of having a Board of Directors, it’s important to regularly review and update the members. As you grow and evolve as a person, your goals and values may also change. By periodically assessing your Board of Directors, you can ensure that the people you are looking to for guidance are still relevant and meaningful to you.
When you see me doing something, making a decision, or speaking my mind, I’m doing it with the full support of my hypothetical Board of Directors. They’re my kind of people, so I’m proud to serve them.