TBU#9 The Power of “Naming What Matters” (inspired by The Lazy Genius Way by Kendra Adachi)
[00:00:00] Shelley: Hello. You are listening to Two Booked Up, a podcast about business and personal development books and the conversations they ignite. I'm Shelley Tonkin Smith.
[00:00:15] Rowena: And I'm Rowena Mabbott. Today on Two Booked Up, we are continuing and wrapping up our discussion of The Lazy Genius Way. Embrace what matters, ditch what doesn't and get stuff done by Kendra Adachi.
[00:00:29] Shelley: Yes, it's our fourth and final episode talking about this book. And in today's episode, we are taking one of the key concepts from the book and exploring how to use it in a very practical way. Particularly when we are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or stuck, when it comes to making a decision.
[00:00:49] Rowena: That's right. We are exploring how naming what matters helps with decision making. Especially as Shelley said in those times when we are in transition or facing challenging decisions.
[00:01:03] Shelley: I can't wait. Let's dive in.
[00:01:06] Rowena: So the idea behind the lazy genius way is to be productive without sacrificing peace of mind using the 13 principles Kendra outlines, which are designed to help you focus on what really matters and let go of what doesn't.
[00:01:26] Shelley: Yes. And that what matters piece is really the heart of what it means to be a lazy genius.
In fact, it could actually be, to me, the key take home message of the book is to go all in on the things that matter. So of course you have got to name what matters to you.
[00:01:50] Rowena: Absolutely. I agree. The essence is the, a genius about the things that matter, but lazy about those that don't so naming, what matters and why is the key idea we are exploring today?
This concept comes up throughout the book and is also a major part of principle 10 centralize.
[00:02:11] Shelley: Now we've spoken about and expanded on this principle in each of our previous episodes. So we are not gonna go into the essentialized principle as such. We are going to jump right into exploring the practical aspects of naming what matters.
And I'd encourage you. If you haven't listened to our previous episodes on this book go back and listen to them. And then you can come back to this particular episode. Knowing the 13 lazy genius principles as your foundation. So now Rowena, would you like to explain where and when naming what matters can be helpful in our lives?
[00:02:50] Rowena: Yep. For sure. Shelly. So many times in our lives, we may find ourselves feeling stuck, uncertain. Or overwhelmed, particularly in the last couple of years, many of us have felt like this, and it's certainly something that's been common with the clients that I've spoken to. And it can either be because we are in a time of transition or because we are facing a decision and are feeling really uncertain or unsure, or we could be lacking the confidence to move forward with the appropriate action.
So, if you think about it, when it really matters that we need to name what matters, it's best summarized as when we're in times of transition or decision. And it really is at these points that naming what matters helps. So through naming what matters we focus on what's important to us in this moment. So that's really clear, like it's about what matters to us in this moment.
And it needs to be aligned with our values. Which then provides greater clarity. And generally that clarity helps us determine what the next step should be.
[00:03:56] Shelley: Yes. I completely agree.
Like I know for myself when I need to make decisions, it can get quite overwhelming, especially when there's too many choices or many of the choices feel like there are good choices, you know, like they all have merits and then that makes it really hard to choose just one. Cause I could think, well, this is also a good choice.
And also, you know, that I have a strength of curiosity, it's my top strength. And so that strength of curiosity means I want to explore and I want to do them all. I wanna take all these opportunities that are presented to me. So rather than getting caught up with which of these choices might be the best, which one's right, which one's wrong? Instead by naming what matters I can get to the core of what's important to me in my family or, or what's important to me in my business, and then use that — the stuff that actually matters — to guide the decision.
[00:05:02] Rowena: Exactly Shelly. So naming what. Is connected with our values, which you've just spoken about, but it is also aligned with the idea of the season we are in. So as I mentioned before, and as I think you've just illustrated, it's what matters right now, but it might not be what will matter in six months time.
And that's okay too. That's part of the beauty of naming what matters. The principle is absolutely sound and it can be applied in your family, in your business or in life in general. And as you said, Shelley it's about using the stuff that matters as the guide for decision making.
[00:05:40] Shelley: Yes. And you know, talking about seasons, the seasonal approach to life, uh, I think that's so important and I'm gonna share an example from my family and homeschooling life that also just kind of brings in this idea of what matters now versus what matters or what could matter in the future.
So with homeschooling. Well, first of all, deciding to homeschool itself was a huge decision and we really had to tap into, okay, what matters. And that decision in and of itself was one of those. Ooh, what matters? And then we could make this rather brave decision. But, as I said, I love new things. I get very enthusiastic and I wanna dive in head first.
And with homeschooling, there are plenty of opportunities for that to happen. So for one example, we go on holidays a lot as a family. This also is something that matters to us as a, as a family. And when we go on holidays, it's like this idyllic situation. I see my boys playing so freely when we are on holiday, uh, whether we are like on a farm or by the seaside or wherever it is, I look at them playing and I think, oh, this is ideal.
This is how I wanna homeschool. This is how I want to live. So I've gotten this big insight and my husband, Garren, and I have even started talking a bit, taking it a bit further saying, well, why are we living in a big city? Like maybe we need to move to a farm. Cuz we both work from home. We homeschool like maybe we need to move to a farm or move to seaside town.
And then it starts, you know, becoming quite a big overwhelming decision. And I think on the side of all of this. I've also read a book called The Call of the Wild and Free, which is so brilliant. And it's, it's got this inspirational focus on nature and spending time outdoors with this free play, this exploring and this observing, . And the person that heads up Wild and Free, she's got a farm village where she gathers families together and they have mom retreats and things like that. So I'm like thinking, oh my goodness, do I have to have this total life change? And it felt too big. And I kind of was like, ready to just go, oh no, this is crazy. Let's just toss out the idea. But when I just pulled back a little bit and went, "let's name, what matters" I could identify that what matters for me was my boys having freedom to play outside in nature. That was what mattered. And once I could put my finger on that, I could go. All right. And then I think I started applying Kendra's other principles of starting small and all of that, to go: "okay. Well, Freedom to play outside... I have a garden, we have a garden.
They can actually just have more free time to play in our garden, you know, so rather than scheduling all their activities and have a whole day of stuff that I want them to do, actually schedule free time. And independent play, where they can decide what they do. And they have invented all sorts of games on the, especially on the trampoline.
And talking about the trampoline that then guided, our investments as well, because our trampoline was starting to get a bit sun damaged and, and a few of the springs were breaking and we were like, you know what? This is so important. We're buying another one. So we bought a new one because it fitted in with what mattered.
Then other things, other decisions then helped with that as well. Like, so we have a little curriculum called Wild Math and that's all about doing maths outside. So I invested in that curriculum as well. So that, they would have an opportunity to learn maths outside. And then a big thing that happened, is, I think I looked more locally and I looked like let's, put the brakes on moving to a farm right now and look at the natural spaces around us. So I had my garden, but we've also got a beautiful little park down our road. Well, , it's maybe not so beautiful, it maybe could do with a little bit of love. And so what we did is we went and picked up litter in this little park, and we've kind of got a little bit of a plan that as a family, we are gonna just improve the park a little bit, maybe plant a little garden in the entrance way to the park and kind of do it as a community and homeschooling project. So you can see here that all of these, decisions are doable. They're all sort of small enough that I can do in my local area. I can do them now. I can start small and also bonus with all of this, is that I was looking for, a Wild and Free group and all the Wild and Free groups are in, the States mainly.
And there's a few all over the world, but there was only two other ones in Cape Town. That was only two South African ones. And would, you know, like just in the last couple of weeks, somebody has started a Wild and Free group in my area. So like, I didn't even need to go and do that. But I could join the group.
I could actually join and, and be, you know, bring some enthusiasm to the group and support the whole thing. So that all came from naming what mattered. And then I didn't have to like go and start a wild and free group move to a farm, you know, like do all these rather extreme, overwhelming things that could seem long term, bigger projects.
I could actually. Do these things now here. And all of our decisions got flavored by what mattered. So, yeah, that is an example from my homeschooling and sort of family life. That's where I've really felt that naming what matters has, has really helped me.
[00:11:43] Rowena: Shelley, I just love that example.
I think that you have illustrated so beautifully that by naming what matters, you are actually able to streamline and simplify and prioritize your actions in order to support the outcome you desired, which is absolute gold and also terrific role modeling for your kids, because you have shown them that here we can take these smaller actions to get these decisions made, and we can do things that really make a difference in the world as well.
That's a brilliant example. Thank you for sharing.
[00:12:17] Shelley: Yeah, it's, it's been such a beautiful journey and I think that starts small, which is one of Kendra's principles. It, once you've named what matters, you can start small because it's not so overwhelming and it's not so big.
So I think this is where all the next principles kind of spill into. Um, it, it all starts with naming what matters and then you start applying the other principles it's kind of in cascade so beautifully.
But now, Ro, I know in your business, this is something that has really come through and in your, in your wider career, so can you just expand upon how naming, what matters has helped you in your business?
[00:12:54] Rowena: Absolutely. I'd love to. So for me, as you mentioned, naming what matters is pretty much one of the reasons I work now as a career and life confidence coach. So let me take you back for a bit though,
By way of background. When my youngest son was around 18 months old, I returned to corporate work working as a consult. So I worked with small startups, not for profit organizations, government departments, and medium to large corporates. So it sounds pretty hectic, but it actually was fantastic. I loved the variety of work. It was super flexible and therefore an ideal outcome for a mum with still pretty young kids.
But after a few years, I mean, it was a few years. Like, don't get me wrong. I did realize the work wasn't quite as satisfying as I had hoped mostly because as a consultant, your recommendations can be, and to be honest, often are not actioned. So as a consultant, working for a consultant company, I would make very clear recommendations in writing in a very formal report to fix inappropriate or sometimes even illegal activities.
But the people who'd engaged us to do the work would effectively just sort of smile and nod and thank us for the work, but not actually take action. They wouldn't actually remedy the problem. So after nearly four years of working as a consultant, this actually was starting to get me a bit down. It meant that for a number of months, I was pretty stressed and I was having a lot of, anxiety worrying about these were real people's lives that were being impacted, that weren't getting the solutions that they needed.
Um, and that didn't really sit well with me, cuz as you mentioned, Shelley, one of your, your top strength, curiosity, whereas my top strength is love. And so I was genuinely quite worried and upset that these people weren't being treated appropriatly. So whilst I knew I was not responsible for others' actions or in this case, lack of action, it was really in deep conflict with my values, which was a very uncomfortable place to be. So I actually had to pause and do a little bit of naming what matters. So through my discussions with some very trusted confidants, I realized that what really mattered to me was feeling positive about my work — AND knowing it was making a difference. I needed both of those things. And that meant that knowing my recommendations to improve people's employment or situations were actually being actioned, stuff was actually happening. That's what I needed to know. So it all came to a head and I spoke with the consulting company, owner and managing director.
And I effectively resigned from the last project I was on and opted to take a month for a break, which gave me a little bit of time to kind of determine what I wanted to do and explore what mattered to me. So I actually worked with my own coach in that time and really did a lot of work around naming what mattered.
So the final organization, that final organization ended up being my last consultancy gig for that consulting company. So by naming what mattered at that point, I had a really clear idea of what I was looking for in my longer term career. So rather than just looking at that particular job, I realized, okay, naming what matters is, this is important for my career rather than in this job.
So meaningful work, making a positive impact. Being aligned with my values, the ability to control my workload, the type of work and my hours ensuring my stress was being kept to a minimum and still being available for my boys. Now that all sounds like a laundry list of things, but these were my non, these were my essentials.
They were my non-negotiables. They were what really mattered at that point. And so that's 10 years ago now, just about, in terms of when I first started with my little one, but it's, this was about six years ago. And so within a few weeks after that month break, I'd actually decided that by, through naming what mattered and doing a bit more research, it was time for me to retrain as a coach and follow my dream of 10 years earlier.
So that's how I kind of ended up being here. It was literally through naming what mattered.
[00:17:00] Shelley: Yeah, what I love about that story. It's like, what's different with yours and mine. Is that, that your story in naming what mattered set you up for the longer term you and I looking back 10 years ago of naming what mattered something 10 years ago, and that has then affected your career trajectory and actually set you up in a career where you are getting that, making a difference.
That, that need that you have, cos it actually is a need. I'm hearing that you want to see your work, making a difference in people's lives. Not only just you enjoying your work, that's also part of it. But then you wanna actually see that, that happening. And I love the example because for you, it set up for the longer term for me, it's like going, okay, don't get it overwhelmed.
Like, like maybe in 10 years I'll move to a farm, but let's Name what matters now. And that helped me in the very, you know, short term making short term decisions. Whereas it's so cool that you and I looking back and going that decision, that naming what mattered 10 years ago has now set you up. And those non-negotiables, I know, sit in your business today.
They continue in your business today, right?
[00:18:19] Rowena: Mm-hmm they still do, but I think that's a really valid point, Shelly, that I probably didn't know. At that point that these were gonna be my longer term, big picture kind of stuff. It was just, I was making a decision at that point that felt like I needed to make a decision about this right now.
Mm-hmm and it's only with the benefit of hindsight that I look back and go, wow, that was a turning point. And it was, I think it's because I named what mattered. And it certainly has had a pretty big impact. And look, to be honest, changing your career listener will not necessarily be the outcome that you want, or the outcome will happen when you name what matters.
So let's just be quite clear that there's no expectation that you name what matters and suddenly you have to change your career. But for me it, or move or move to a farm or move to a farm, unless you really want to, for me, it'd be more moved to the coast. Cause in Australia I would prefer to live by the beach.
But it did take, for me, it took experiencing things that I didn't want. In my life and my career to nudge me to get clear on what really did matter and then name that. And I think that's often when we talk about points of transition, that's often what has really happening often a point of transition is where things are uncomfortable.
We don't really like where we're at, we're in a state of flux. And so we often need to kind of get really clear about, well, what do we, don't what don't we want? And by naming what we don't want. That can often help us flip, flip what we don't want and turn them into a, the opposite. And that's what we do want.
That's one of the tools I use with my clients and it really, really works so personally, since naming what mattered back in say 2015, I've got a lot better at it. Not always perfect, but generally, as you said, Shelly, my life, my business, they're all about being aligned with my values, which are in essence, what matters to me.
And I think there's a quote in the book that actually, I would love to share which is the more you choose what's essential and intentionally support, what matters, the less noise you have to manage and the more energy you have for a fulfilling life. Yeah. I think that is pretty much gold.
Yes. Like it's just the absolute reason why naming what matters and choosing what's essential. Is why we're focusing on that this in this episode, because that really, if you can live by that, that particular quote, everything else is better.
[00:20:44] Shelley: Yeah, a hundred percent agree. This, this idea of also when you name what matters you reframe it.
It's not about, I need to make the right decision or what should I do or, what are, what are other people expecting me to do? Or, what am I gonna lose out on if I make the wrong decision? You know, whereas if you bring it down, I just feel such a calming energy with naming what matters it's it's then like looking into yourself and going well, what do I value? What, does this like my family value? What do I value in my business? Because I think naming what matters to you can help you to stop that comparisonitis and of trying to carbon copy someone else's life or someone else's business. Uh, cuz as you said, this is not to say that you if you're listening, you need to have a career change or you need to move, whatever it might be. It's actually. Really getting to the heart of your values, your strengths as well. And, and what matters to you. So, yeah, I hope that this has been helpful to you. I invite those of you listening to take some time and go, you know, what.
When I'm facing a, a difficult decision, whether it's around my business. Um, because I've also found this in my own business, I've cut down to only doing copywriting because I'm like, you know what, right now, what matters is I can focus on one little area. And so if you having decisions like that are feeling a bit overwhelmed in your business, overwhelmed in your family life, or with decisions that you need to make for your kids.
I feel like we need a little rewind sound effect here now.
[00:22:24] Shelley: Just like dial it back down. Dial in to what matters to you. And that can very often just reframe the situation, um, get you out of overwhelm and help you to release this pressure of like having to make the right decision.
[00:22:43] Rowena: Absolutely. I love that Shelly and I, I think that's a terrific reminder that we can all just step back, take a breath and then name what matters.
Without the pressure of feeling like it's the right or it's a should decision. It's just what matters in this moment right now. Yeah. And that is often the circuit breaker question. We need to help shift us into the next right action. And so with that, that concludes our episode for today. We hope that by sharing our stories of naming what matters, you can also see the benefit of doing this in your life.
Do let us know if you try it out or if you would like some support as you do so. You can learn more about the support and services we each offer on our websites. I can be found online at rowenamabbott.com and Shelley, where can listeners find your online home?
[00:23:32] Shelley: So my web address is ShelleySmithCreative.com and the links for our websites will be in the show notes.
And you can also find us on Instagram. I'm ShelleySmithCreative on Instagram. So send me a DM or comments on one of the posts that we put up about the podcast and Ro, where can and listeners find you on social media
[00:23:52] Rowena: and I'm RowenaMabbott on Instagram.
[00:23:56] Shelley: So yeah. Do go and have a look for those posts. Leave us a comment.
We'd love to continue the conversation that we started here on the podcast.
[00:24:04] Rowena: But wait, there are two more things we need to do before we wrap up. We almost forgot Shelley, the most exciting thing as we conclude this episode is announcing our next book. Shelley, would you like to do the honors?
[00:24:18] Shelley: Oh, absolutely.
It's always great to do our next book. Um, so we've been talking a lot about what matters and what's essential So the next book that we will be reading and talking about on Two Booked Up is Essentialism by Greg McKeown.
So you will have noticed that essentialize is one of Kendra's principles it's come up. I think she's been quite, influenced by the book Essentialism. So I feel it's only fitting that we move on to discuss Essentialism. I think you're gonna enjoy it. Are you looking forward to it, Ro?
[00:24:53] Rowena: Oh, my gosh. Yes I'm. So looking forward to it, there are lots of excellent insights in essentialism that really support us with the practical side of implementing the changes required to support our lives, especially Shelly, once we've named what matters mm-hmm
So once we've named what matters, which we've just talked about, then essentialism really comes into its own. So there's I lots of great conversation ahead. I think.
[00:25:18] Shelley: Always. Totally. So speaking of conversation, we'd also love it. If you tell your friends about Two Booked Up, so go and send them to twobookedup.com, or you can find us on apple podcasts on Google podcast or wherever you listen to your podcasts, go and search for T W O booked up.
And you should find us there add Shelley or Rowena. If you are not finding two booked up just on its own.
[00:25:44] Rowena: And also please remember to subscribe to the podcast or follow us in your podcast player. That's the best way to make sure you get all our future episodes and they will automatically download, which is a bit of a bonus.
And it's one less thing for you to do on your to-do list.
[00:26:00] Shelley: Wonderful. Well, Rowena, thank you so much for chatting with me today. I've loved our conversation about naming what matters and thank you to those of you listening to two booked up today. And goodbye from me, Shelley Tonkin Smith, and we will see you in the next episode.
[00:26:17] Rowena: Bye. See you next time.