My 2019 Decision Making Process
If this was the last thing I ever did, will I be happy?
Towards the end of 2018 I started asking myself this question.
And gradually it’s become the most important factor in any decision I make, both professionally and personally.
Let me explain…
This is not in any way aligned with the overused and somewhat empty mantra of “live each day like it’s your last”
But instead deeply rooted in this introspective question is a desire to spend your time productively.
And what’s more, it’s about your intent, what you’re working towards, what you’re trying to achieve.
Sure we’d all want the last thing we do to be the most incredible and exciting day ever, but my intuition says that if we try and live every day like that we’re going to be disappointed.
One of my favourite sayings is that “nothing worth having in this life comes easy” and nowadays we’ve all become so preoccupied with instant gratification that arguably we’ve forgotten in order to actually achieve something worthwhile it can takes weeks, months and often years of hard work and effort before achieving some success.
Asking yourself this question, in my opinion is a great way to stay accountable to yourself in whatever you’re doing.
In our industry of content creation there’s a multitude of working opportunities at our fingertips and ostensibly everyone wants the big budget, glamorous ‘cinematic’ productions. If that’s your goal, brilliant, I wish you every success in your journey.
But at the same time if you’re working on a series of short videos to help a local small business, you should take pride in your intent to help someone else in their businesses goals. If that was the last thing you did, you should be proud of your intent to do worthwhile, valuable work. Even if it wasn’t the most exciting or big-budget production in the world.
If you’re taking on projects that you’re not innately interested in, in order to gain experience and build your business to be a more successful and helpful organisation to bigger clients in the future, you should be happy the last thing you ever did was work hard aiming to build something that can offer a source of income to you, your family and your employees for many years to come.
“Don’t forget, we’ve all got to buy food and pay our bills”
And it’s not just about working too. If the last thing you did was take an afternoon off to spend time with your elderly relatives you’d probably be happy.
If the last thing you did was spend time exercising and working to improve your health to be better version of yourself for your friends and family you’d probably be happy as well.
We all have a limited amount of time in this incredible experience we call ‘life’ and my intuition says that asking yourself this simple question both ensures you’re spending your time productively and alleviates the pressure that social media puts on you to be constantly the very best version of yourself and be head and shoulders above your peers.
My intuition says that it’s exactly the same with your content production…
If this is the last project you ever worked on, ask yourself, would you be happy with your choice? Your effort? Your intent?
And it’s not about wanting every piece of work you do to be the most incredible and monumental piece of content ever. If you took a project because you wanted to do a good job for the client and knowing it would put food on your table to feed your family, you should complete take pride in that as well.
Your last piece of content could potentially be your legacy and my intuition says it doesn’t matter what camera you used, or how much you were paid for it. It’s all about what you were working towards and what your intent is.
Towards the end of 2018 I spent a lot of time working on passion projects for friends, projects which I hope will be a help to them in the future and what they’re trying to achieve.
There may not have been any budget or enough time available to make them the standard they deserved to be or the best piece of work I’ve ever done, but deep down when I ask myself would I be happy if they are the last projects I do? I can answer will a complete honest and authentic yes. And my intuition says that’s all you need.
So in 2019 remember to ask yourself “If this was the last thing I ever did, would I be happy?”
And I wish you every success.
I help people, brands and business communicate more effectively with their customers through visual, audio and written content.
I do this through Southpaw Sport, the sports content marketing company I’m currently building as well as on a freelance basis working for agencies and production companies.
You can follow me on YouTube where I post videos and vlogs sharing my experience and opinion on content production.
YouTube — https://www.youtube.com/user/jackt18
And my social media for behind the scenes look at what I’m up to
Instagram — @jackwrtompkins
Twitter — @jackwrtompkins