Batko OS #3
I went all out in the first edition of Batko OS by sharing my single most effective work system.
However, work is only one aspect of life.
There is another system which overarches my entire life.
It provides me with support and the necessary push to reach my most ambitious goals.
🙏 Kudos to Nick Crocker and his original post - here.
Starting my Elephants group has been the best thing I’ve ever done.
I’ve cut my goals back and found the most important ones.
I call my parents regularly and floss my teeth.
I receive weekly updates from some of the most important people in my life.
I discuss the biggest life problems and decisions with people who I unconditionally trust.
I get support in the most difficult times in my life.
I get pushed when I’m deceiving myself or not ambitious enough.
Most importantly - despite living thousands of miles apart, I’m closer to my best friends than I’ve ever been before.
⚙️ The Elephants System
The Elephants system is built on support and encouragement.
There are three core elements to it:
Pick your Elephants 🐘
Set Life Goals 🏁
Check-in on Goals 🎯
1. Pick Your Elephants 🐘
We are arguably more connected than we have ever been. The internet has allowed us to talk to, engage with and “befriend” more people than any generation before us.
But how many of these are “real” connections?
How many of these are worth fostering?
Worth your attention, time and energy?
How many of these contribute to making you a better person?
We have replaced quality of connection with quantity of connections.
The central aim of the Elephants is to bring the people who you care most about back into the core of your life story.
You know who they are.
Friends who you can tell anything.
They don’t judge but are also the first to call bullshit when you are not being true to yourself.
They know you better than you know yourself.
The friends who you fully trust and are not afraid to push you out of your comfort zone.
Who are they for you?
“It wasn’t until I came across that Donne quote about ‘harmless, great things’ that I realised it perfectly described what we were trying to become: great without causing harm.”* - from Nick’s original blogpost.
Pick 2-3 friends. They will be your Elephants.
Your herd, who sticks with you through thick and thin, but also pushes you forward into unchartered territories.
My Elephants. [Pic from 2010]
We’ve known each other since the age of 10 and went to high school together for 8 years. Now I live in Sydney, Filip in Zurich, Oli in Cologne. We see each other in person every Xmas.
2. Set Life Goals 🏁
This is the hard part and can be overwhelming.
Let me give you a framework for setting life goals.
Start with these categories:
Physical - Health / Fitness
Social - Family / Friends / Hobbies / Travel
Emotional - Relationship
Professional - Work / Intellectual
Take these as a starting point, but edit and adjust where it makes sense for you.
From a time perspective set goals for:
Now - fill in the “easiest” squares.
Some squares will be intuitive to fill for you ie
I know I want X job in 1 year.
I know I want to move cities in ~3 years for at least 6 months.
I know I want to do one big 2-week trip every year.
I know I want a house, dog, 3 kids and a Tesla in 10 years.
Fill in the first couple of squares without giving it much thought.
When you get stuck, look at the bigger picture and fill in the gaps in between.
ah ok - I want a house, kids and Tesla in 10 years - how much money would I need?
ah ok - to get that money how much would I need to earn / invest?
Does that line up with my career path?
Having a Tesla in 10 years is important to me - do I have any other shorter-term environmental goals?
What hobbies did I always want to try? Does that work with my travel plans?
Your grid starts to fill. You start to rejig life goals.
Lastly, extrapolate backwards.
If I want to get to this point in the next 3 or 10 years - where would I want to be in 1 year?
To get there in 1 year where do I want to get to in the next quarter?
To get there in the next quarter what am I going to do this week?
Note: there are no perfect goals and you will change them overtime - just get started 💪
3. Check-in on Goals 🎯
There are two types of check-ins.
The first session with your newly established Elephants group requires each person to run through the goals you have set for yourself in detail. This is the perfect opportunity for the people closest to you to ask questions about your goals and provide input. To ensure everyone is given the attention they deserve, take 5-7 hours for this first session. Trust me, that time will fly one you get started.
After the kick-off, catch up as an Elephant’s group quarterly to check in on:
how you performed against your goals in the last quarter; and
your new goals + how your goals changed.
This is best done in person or via Zoom as you will find the discussion will branch out from just a review of your goals. Often in our Elephants catch-up, each person will bring a big life problem they are currently facing and would like to discuss.
⚡️ This is your supercharged support group - you design it to your needs!
Set up an easy, dedicated communication channel.
I recommend setting up a Slack workspace.
Create a channel for #weeklyupdates.
Every Sunday run through your goals and everything else that happened in your life and hit up your Elephants with a Good, Bad and Ugly.
Now the Elephants come into play.
Support and push each other where needed.
Consistency and transparency are key - call each other out if someone doesn’t post.
👆 The update can be as short as this, or much longer - depending on the week.
The Elephants are your accountability and support group
supercharged with trust and vulnerability.
I really hope you get as much out of the Elephants as I do.
It is, hands down, the best system I’ve implemented for myself - for my mental health, life support and ambition.
Share this with someone you want to be your Elephant!
If you started a group - I’d love to hear about it!
My Ask for You
💌 If you started using the Elephants or want to tell others about it - share this on Twitter and tag me @batkomichael!