Monday, March 30, 2009

There’s a personal retreat with your name on it....

If you haven't engaged in a heart-to-heart conversation with yourself recently, there’s a personal retreat with your name on it. Where are you going in 2009? And why? With whom? And how?

Walt Sutton suggests taking time to consider your direction, progress, aspirations, dreams, goals, and everything you can think of about your life. Stephen Covey cautions us against climbing the ladder of success only to discover that the ladder is against the wrong building. A formal yearly assessment is an effort to look at all of the buildings, all of the ladders, and as much of the surrounding countryside as you can see. The desired outcome is to "study yourself" and it's the number one thing you can do to impact the quality of your life. It encourages the use of personal introspection as a basis for making life decisions and routinely adjusting one's life course. One of the biggest reasons we become achievers is to "control our own destiny". However, many people tend to restrict this endeavor to their business lives as opposed to their whole lives.

Some people do this work physically, some psychologically, some spiritually, some do the work linearly, some by induction - it doesn't seem to matter how. What matters is that many successful people do this work - regularly. The key here is that you think energetically, optimistically, critically, and seriously about what you want from life. Then take your thoughts - however you organize them - and compile commitments to make your dreams come true.

First, decide how you're going to spend your retreat time... what you're going to do. For example:

• Write a letter to yourself assuming you're 90-years old and recount what was really important in your life.

• Imagine a perfect day at work, at play and at home... what would these days look like, and what would you look like doing each of these things.

• Imagine yourself as your own best friend... what would you advise yourself about your life's direction now and how you could make your future choices really meaningful.

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