June 28, 2023




Hourly Aspirational Rate, Mastering Active Listening, & More

At a glance

Good Morning. Welcome to all the new readers of Faster Than Normal who have joined us since last week!

Here’s what we’ll cover today:

Mental Model: Hourly Aspirational Rate.

Insight: Mastering Active Listening.

Quote: Inner Fulfillment.

Question: Living with Intention.

Parable: The Blind Men and the Elephant.


| Mental Model

Hourly Aspirational Rate

The "Hourly Aspirational Rate" is a concept that helps us determine the value of our time. By calculating an aspirational hourly rate, you can make more informed decisions about which tasks are worth your time and which ones should be outsourced, automated, or eliminated.

Analogy: Consider your time as a valuable currency, like gold. You only have a limited supply of it, and you want to spend it wisely. Your hourly aspirational rate acts as an exchange rate for your time, helping you decide where to invest it to yield the best returns.

Example: Imagine you're a freelance graphic designer whose aspirational hourly rate is $100. When deciding whether to clean your home or hire a cleaning service, you estimate that cleaning your home takes you 4 hours. Since the cleaning service costs $25 per hour, the total cost is $100. By comparing the value of your time ($400) to the cost of the cleaning service ($100), it becomes clear that hiring the cleaning service is a more efficient use of your resources.

Quote: "Time is the scarcest resource, and unless it is managed, nothing else can be managed." – Peter Drucker

To calculate your hourly aspirational rate, follow these steps:

1. Determine your annual income goal: Consider how much you want to earn per year, factoring in your desired lifestyle, savings, and investments.

2. Estimate your annual working hours: Calculate how many hours you plan to work per year, taking into account weekends, holidays, and vacations.

3. Calculate your hourly aspirational rate: Divide your annual income goal by your annual working hours to find your aspirational hourly rate.

By using your hourly aspirational rate as a benchmark, you can more effectively prioritize tasks and ensure that your time is spent on the activities that align with your goals and values. This can lead to increased productivity, a better work-life balance, and ultimately, greater success.

| Insight

Listening is an underrated skill.

Challenge: Practice active listening in your next conversation by focusing on understanding the speaker's perspective without interrupting or formulating your response.

| Quote

Alan Cohen, a philosopher and writer, on the importance of self-compassion:

”To be content means that you realize you contain what you seek.”

| Question

How does the way I spend my time reflect my core values and priorities?

A Parable I Enjoyed

The Blind Men and the Elephant (Source: Indian subcontinent, various versions in Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain texts)

Once upon a time, there were six blind men who had never encountered an elephant before. They heard that an elephant had come to their town, and they were curious to learn what it was like. So they went to the elephant, and each of them touched a different part of its body.

The first blind man touched the elephant's leg and said, "An elephant is like a pillar, strong and sturdy." The second blind man touched the elephant's tail and said, "No, an elephant is like a rope, thin and flexible." The third blind man touched the elephant's trunk and said, "You're both wrong, an elephant is like a snake, long and curved." The fourth blind man touched the elephant's ear and said, "No, an elephant is like a fan, thin and flat." The fifth blind man touched the elephant's tusk and said, "You're all mistaken, an elephant is like a spear, hard and sharp." And the sixth blind man touched the elephant's side and said, "No, an elephant is like a wall, flat and broad."

Each blind man had touched a different part of the elephant, and they each had a different idea of what an elephant was like. They argued and debated, each insisting that he was right and the others were wrong. But of course, they were all partially right and partially wrong. An elephant is not just one thing, but a complex creature with many different parts and qualities.

The moral of the parable is that we often have different perspectives and experiences, and we may not always agree on what something is like or what the truth is. We should be open to hearing different viewpoints and perspectives, and recognize that each of us may only have a partial understanding of the whole truth. By working together and sharing our perspectives, we can gain a more complete understanding of the world around us.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, all.

Until next time,


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