is that Peimic.com helps people know me better.
- Cycled around Taiwan
- Divorced @20-years
- Drove across Canada
- Earned 3-degrees
- Failed slowly
- Geeked 35+ years
- Hugged my kids recently
- Lived in 10-countries
- Married thrice
- Milked cows
- Overcame $380,000 debt
- Photographed people
- Stepped on landmines
- Studied in 8-countries
- Traveled 2M miles
TLDR I consciously choose who I am and what I do, even when the outcome is unpopular.
Hello, I’m Michael Cannon, a boundless Virgo water-rat, Drusus & Jace’s nearby dad, for @Axelerant’s success and living by kind, conscious choices.
A decade ago, I was tired of working for tomorrow and not reaching my dreams. So, I stopped chasing them.
Instead, I decided to live by decomposing dreams into daily tangible bits as actions to become closer to my ideal self.
In other words, I live my future life the best I can now.
In the years since, I’ve thought much and reframed my purpose, principles, and values, plus their traits. Creating boundaries through them of an aspirational means versus specific actions has worked best for me.
For example, moving for the joy of it gets me out of my home for a walk easier than going to the gym thrice weekly as a goal.
More importantly, those life boundaries helped craft my daily life decision framework, which meant making tough choices that eventually made life easier.
Like letting toxic relationships go or recognizing I’m no longer capable of high-impact sports.
I base my life purpose, principles, and values around the concepts of why, what, and how.
- Purpose forms the why.
- Principles compose the what.
- Values define the how.
It took about two years of weekly deep reflections before my core principles, values, and traits solidified. Since then, I’ve been pondering and refining them quarterly.
To start living better by my purpose, I had to recognize myself honestly. Like, I have fat, my ego causes trouble, and while I’m very responsible, I’m not too fond of discipline.
While choices like fasting are part of the taking better care of myself principle, they are tricky.
For example, while I feel great fasting, I can only do it when I’m not relocating. And it took a while to figure out it was not a discipline issue; it was a curiosity because I used to be on the road six to nine months a year.
These days, I eat whatever seems appealing for the first two weeks of a new location. After that, I can fast two or three days a week because curiosity no longer drives my choices.
Balancing intent and actions of principles is an ongoing compromise. Some days will be a miss, like not moving around outside because I’m feeling lazy.
So while it might seem like I’ve sorted my life out, I’ve off days just like you.
Being me starts with a purpose.
Live fully by living differently (Why)
I’m not interested in living perfectly or following in others’ footsteps. I’m interested in what I find curious, enjoyable, and inspiring.
Therefore, given that the moment appeals to my principles and values, it’s a good time for me.
My first step and principle in achieving my purpose are that:
I take better care of myself (What #1)
- Meditate for alignment
- Minimize debt
- Move for the joy of it
- Munch towards a long and content life
- Sleep well each day
When I was a cross-country runner or a bomb squad technician, coaches and superiors kept me directed. Now, I must care for myself toward a long, fulfilling life.
I had more specific traits, like a 20-minute workout each day. Yet that felt rigid and, with my dislike for discipline, hard to maintain.
Moving for the joy of it is an easier aspiration to partake in when I’m tired or stressed because I can sync that time with a meditation session.
So, shifting something from a must-do to a desire-to-do has dramatically helped me regularly perform self-care.
The second way I fulfill my purpose is to:
I have healthy relationships (What #2)
- Associate with whom I care for or am inspired by
- Courageous in thoughts, words, and deeds
- Give timely, specific feedback and recognition
- Give undistracted attention to conversations
It took me until my early-40s to realize that not every relationship deserves my time. Continuing some associations created significant toxicity in my life and affected others.
With a heavy heart, I began evaluating my relationships. I categorized them towards keep or not by helping, hindering, or doing nothing for me.
The most challenging relationship I left was with my wife and best friend of 20 years. Our first 13 years were incredible, yet the latter times found us unable to stay connected despite our best efforts.
Now my relationships are based on recurring, positive life choices. And when I’m with someone, I focus on them and ignore distractions around us.
The third path to my purpose is:
I am an inspiring leader (What #3)
- Challenge the status quo
- Demonstrate gratitude for peers and their supporters
- Engage and empower people to own what they do
- Focus on priorities
- Have reasonable boundaries and expectations for myself and others
- Share my learnings
I want my work to have joy and meaning. And over time, I have learned that my best work comes alongside great leaders and managers.
I have learned to avoid the boss mode of telling people what to do because that action antagonizes most folks away from our desired outcomes.
Build respect and trust by making time to
- Learn about one another
- Reach a mutual purpose
- Find a meaningful interest
- Allow the person ownership in doing
- Follow up
And through that trust and respect, they often remain beside me.
Three core values define how I consistently act no matter what I’m doing to accomplish my life’s purpose.
Smile (How #1)
Without speaking, a simple smile conveys welcome, encouragement, and humor. And smiling helps prevent me from judging others and the situations we find ourselves in. Instead, I decide to accept, change, or release myself from challenging moments.
Through smiling, I can begin to build a relationship, leading to my second value:
Demonstrate Respect (How #2)
Curiosity and respect for our differences are keys to getting along to build trust that allows for challenging conversations. In which a situation can be peacefully discussed with good intent toward positive outcomes.
To help myself demonstrate respect, I follow several specific actions: calm presence, discover impact, and have compassion in moving forward.
Those respectful actions require direction, or else closure remains away. Therefore my third value helps create a mini-why:
Have Purpose (How #3)
While stating have purpose seems recursive, it’s a critical reminder of each moment I have. Which has helped me identify my number one value trait.
That trait is the foundation of how I act in every moment. And has the positive consequence of me owning everything I do by leading me toward what matters and ignoring the rest.
Next, having purpose has helped me realize that I prefer quality of life over a high standard of living; to live well.
Third, to have a purpose, I must know what is possible, which helps me be curious. To expand my horizons, create opportunities for positive change, and sometimes refresh my memory.
Lastly, I act thoughtfully through purpose and conscious choice to reach my intended outcome. And sometimes, that means doing nothing.
My living fully requires recurring reflection. That reflection often leads to determining key actions of immediate priorities and, sometimes, crafting a new direction or perspective.
Authenticity matters in building hope, trust, and inspiration with those around me, which means sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly of ourselves. Leading us to craft stories that others relate to from our most embarrassing and frustrating times.
No matter what, I continue to do my best. And learn from and share the failures. So together, we will do better.
Deliberate Life Goals.
- Be with family–the best I can with one or another.
- Healthier life choices–feel good about me.
- Retire by 62-set aside $1.4M to share life adventures with Huan.
- Study languages–Chinese, French.
- Sustainable ownership–engage, empower, and inspire others to own what they do.
Thank you for taking the time to get to know me, and visit ImMichaelCannon.com to find out where you can follow me.
Got something for me? Contact me.