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My Beliefs, Rituals and Habits

Aaron McHugh

A friend wrote me and asked me about my beliefs, rituals, and habits that have reshaped my work life play. I thought you might find it helpful.

Love your sentiment about balance being BS. I actually agree. I think a better view is being integrated instead of compartmentalized.

My old life was very compartmentalized

I worked. I tended to my family. I played. I exercised. The problem with that approach was life is too messy to stay in a compartment. So when I started embracing that integration of all aspects of my life can happen in the same day-then it becomes about mastering the art of living vs. managing compartments.

I’m a believer that everything is soaked in a bigger story. The more I apply that belief to my eyes I see things a new. All of the sudden play can be as simple as spitting on the sidewalk and jumping cracks in the pavement while on a conf call. My old compartment definitions were too rigid and impossible to achieve.

Now, I believe that integration of all areas of my life every day makes for a more joyful, connected and adventurous -sustainable life.

We shape our future

I believe that our future is untold and undetermined and we get to shape and captain the course. I believe God is waiting for us as co-authors to initiate-risk-try-experiment-believe and live into a future we want to be a part of. I can still slip back into “play it safe” thinking and live small.

I found it a little easier to live boldly when we started our Reboot two years ago. Now sometimes, things can feel easier to stay the current course. But I know what’s most true. “There is the genius in boldness”.

Ritual and habits

Protecting the asset (Essentialism book) has become a dominant mantra for me each day. I still struggle to prioritize my needs and myself first e.g. to go for a run before I check my email. I know what is good for me, but I can at times neglect what I need personally. I am prone to prioritize work, the needs of my family and shit I got to do ahead of protecting the asset. It backfires on me when I don’t protect the asset.

The rituals I adhere to when I’m living well are…

  • Get outside every day even for 10 minutes. Walk to get the mail. Walk the dogs by headlamp. Walking conf calls.
  • Exercise for at least 20 minutes may be jumping rope in the garage and prison wall pushups. But do something.
  • Pray and meditate for at least 15 min (Headspace app)
  • Remind myself that the day will be influenced by the story I tell myself is true. It is not positive thinking-it is actually creating a narrative that I live into and rewiring my brain.

Keep going,


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