What Do You Want To Be?

What do you want to be?

Richer? Thinner? Happier? More popular? More successful? All of the above?

When I launched My Instruction Manual last month, I wanted to create a guidebook for being human. I knew this would help me and I hoped it would help others too. My initial vision was to focus my journey on three things: 1) becoming happier, 2) becoming healthier and 3) becoming more productive.

For this post, I want your help.

I want you to let me know if this is the right list. Does happier, healthier and more productive cover everything that matters? Or are there other important themes that are missing?

You can help shape this blog by scrolling down to the comments and letting me know what you think.

But first, here’s how I see the three categories:

I’ve also written several posts that are about self improvement / personal development more broadly (eg: How bad things can make us better), and some off-topic #SundayFunday posts (eg: The top 10 television dramas).

I asked Facebook what was missing from the three broad categories I outlined. Some of the great suggestions included how to be more kind, how to have more meaningful relationships, how to find balance, how to manage money, how to build resilience, how to be happy at work and how to make the world a better place.

What do you think? Are the categories of Happiness, Health and Productivity the right ones for a manual on how to live life right? What do you think is important that doesn’t fit into one of these? Or is one of these not deserving of its own category?

Please scroll down and leave your thoughts in the comments below.


  1. It’s funny you should ask that because I’ve been contemplating these terms myself, in regards to my own move-forward plan. I think you have the right categories but (personally) I struggle with the term “productivity”.

    For myself, I’ve been thinking about how productive I am and I think I equate that term to “doing more”, which frankly isn’t my challenge at this point. It’s more about doing right, than doing more. See what I mean? In my head, I’ve been thinking of that category as “mindfulness”, which to mean means being productive with purpose, choice and understanding.

    That’s my journey… hope it helps answer your question 🙂

    • Good feedback Mary! I’ve been wondering about the term productivity too. Maybe it’s more about reaching our goals than being productive for productivity sake.

  2. I agree with the previous poster, I was going to comment something similar. I definitely don’t need to be more busy – which I also equate with productive – but I need to be more focused and actually achieve goals which I kind of think as more “successful” but maybe there’s a better word for that too. I like the first two – health and happiness – and as a money writer myself, I’m definitely always excited to see other people’s tips and takes on managing money too.

    • Thanks for the great feedback! I agree that productive may not really be the best word for what I mean. Personal success is closer. I need to think more about this…

  3. I don’t know, I think productivity isn’t such a bad topic. I struggle with organizing my thoughts in order to accomplish more. I would probably appreciate topics that help me in that area…although that’s probably more of a difficulty for me than the average person though!

    • Appreciate you offering the counterpoint here Devin! I think personal organization, time management, etc. are topics that are helpful for everyone. I definitely want to learn more / write more about them, regardless of what I call the overall topic.

  4. I also struggle with productivity because I never get to achieve my goals timely. For instance, my blog was envisioned in 2015 but I just published it this year. On the personal development front I suggest you add fear and self limiting beliefs to the list

  5. Reblogged this on My Instruction Manual and commented:

    Hey all!

    I would love your help in improving the focus of my blog.

    Are happiness, healthiness and productivity the right categories to include in an instruction manual for life?

    If you haven’t already, please take a minute to comment on the post I’m reblogging today.

    Thank you!


  6. Hi Keith, I never thought of my blog as an instruction manual, but … Anyway, i often re-read my about page of my blog , to remind why i blog. And one of the reasons i blog is to inspire me to be better and if anyone else finds it useful -hey bonus. So, what i say is, for your blog, listen to your heart and as yourself the question what is it that i need to change about myself.. and whatever comes out of that , becomes your blog. If you write for you it will automatically be useful to all. Then you will be happy as it is your instruction manual and it becomes you and then it is easier to write.

    I dont know if i make sense, but i hope i do.

    Regards bella

    Ps i noticed you nominated me for an award..massive thank you and really appreciate it. If i may decline i find it hard to choose who to nominate and everyone works so hard. Sorry but i hope you understand. Also huge thank you for nominating me

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