Sunday, September 29, 2013


“Usually, when the distractions of daily life deplete our energy, the first thing we eliminate is the thing we eliminate is the thing we need the most: quiet, reflective time. Time to dream, time to contemplate what's working and what's not, so that we can make changes for the better”.
― Sarah Breathnach, Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy

Phones …
Email …
Kids …
Home …
Work …
Commuting …
Community …
Family …
Fitness …

 .. are all vying for our time and mind. At times, it seems daunting to manage it all, but we manage too – maybe not to the quality or degree of precision we would like, but we get through.

We are all busy – very busy and likely too busy. The importance of setting some time for yourself and reflection gets lost in calendars, emails, phone calls, kids and responsibilities – you name it - at home or work. Usually time to reflect on yourself and where you are going or what you want to be happens when there is a crisis in life or career – or what I call a defining moment.

It brings issues of life or career front and center when you may not have wanted or in a less than perfect time. That is not the best time to reflect and plan as usually there is a fair amount of stress and pressure and that can cloud thinking.

Thinking about your career and life future, and evaluating if you are happy and fulfilled – or not – take reflection and clear unencumbered thought.

So what do you do: Give yourself the gift of time to yourself.

Just for you – no one else. Not sandwiched between phone calls, kids and more – but real alone thoughtful time. On a park bench. Walking in the woods, in a quiet spot of your home – you choose the setting but it must be:

Quiet …
Silent …
Removed …
Comfortable …
Neat/Organized …
Detached …

Reflection on your life and career will not happen with purpose as you are driving to work, bringing the kids to school, plowing through your email, etc. You are too distracted and not focused on the most important thing:

You …

Yes you and you alone.

No one else. Just you.

Your goal? Truly and honestly reassess where you are, where you are going and determine is this where you want to be. Four Steps:

Step One:  - Talk to yourself – spend time thinking about what you really want from a new job, career or life change during the holiday season. Not just a hit-or-miss thought – but thoughts you will then commit to writing. Seeing it on paper is the first step in developing a strategy to achieve your goals.

Step Two: Answer the tough – real tough questions – and write down the answers you formulate as you reflect on the past year or so. . Ask yourself:
What did I learn – did I learn?
What did I accomplish that I can measure?
What was the greatest contribution I made – to myself or to my career – which I am proud of?
What has been my most significant roadblock or challenge I did not overcome?
How am I different this year versus last year at this time?
I can list the three most significant events in my career or life this past year, and they are?
For what am I grateful?

Am I grateful?

Step Three:   Ask the simple yes-no questions:

 Am I fulfilled

Am I having fun?

 Am I motivated?

Am I energized?

Do I have energy?

Am I proud of myself?

Am I proud about what I do in career?

Am I happy with myself personally?
Am I happy with myself professionally?

Am I comfortable doing ht I do in my career for the next XXX years/months/days?

Step Four:  Plan your actions – critical to success. Don’t just “talk” it – plan it and commit to it. Nothing happens until you commit to success – and I dare you to prove me otherwise. Ask yourself:

What is the one goal – the real one and most critical – that I will accomplish in the year/month/day ahead?
And how will I do this?
And how will I feel when I achieve it?

And will it be enough to make me feel fulfilled?

Step Five:  You asked yourself the tough questions – now take actions for success:

Are you in the right job – answer no – Change it!

Fulfilled in your personal life – answer no – Change it!

In the right career that energizes and charges you – answer no – Change it!

What is your mind telling you?

This is a exercise of the mind – that is a very powerful tool we all have that can drive us forward through positive thought and make us “stuck in the mud” through negative thoughts. Our mind also gives us personal insight, if we are willing to accept it and I bet that your mind was providing you insight. Your mind told you either …

 All is good …

All is not good …

Time for reflection – then action. Only you control your destiny – no one else – so make it the best! And thank you for reading this. - Dan

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