The Paths Ahead
This week I will be in Palm Coast with my son, daughter in law, and grandsons. In addition to spending time with my family, this is also a good time to think about my life, my plans for the future and also spend time to reach out to people in my network.
In this fast paced world, we need to take time to see where we have been, where we are going, where we want to go, and who is important to us. Being raised in the Midwest, I have always been a workaholic. When I was younger I rarely reflected. Now I realize how important reflection is for my health, my outlook, my business and my life.
Here are some things I am evaluating. This is a continuous process so I come back to many of these things again and again:
As a young man starting out in the world:
1. What did I stand for?
2. What did I want to be?
3. What impact did I want to make?
4. What were my passions
5. What did I think I needed to improve then?
6. Who were my friends? my mentors?
7. What did I do right and wrong in my first jobs?
8. What were my hobbies, my avocations?
9. What was I reading then?
10 Was I balanced? If so, why? If not, why not?
11. What were my spiritual feelings?
As I progressed in my life:
1. What things did I discard? Why?
2. What new things did I embrace? Why?
3. What friends and mentors did I discard? Why?
4. What friends and mentors did I embrace? What new friends and mentors did I make?
5. What were my biggest accomplishments? What did I learn?
6. What were my biggest failures? What did I learn?
7. Was I balanced? If so, Why? If not, why not?
8. What were my spiritual feelings?
These are not one answer questions, but drill down questions-perhaps lifelong questions.
Why do this?
1. I want to make sure that I have not strayed away from my core values and moral compass
2. I want to revisit old passions, avocations, and goals, to see if I should “try them on” again
3. What actions and directions should I take on?
4. If I retire tomorrow, or if I only have 5 years to live, what things are important? And what things would I do.
I think of Frost Poem, The Road Not Traveled:
“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence
Two roads diverged in a wood
And I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference”
We are faced daily with taking one of many roads. We discard some things, and embrace others. Those decisions change our lives. We can, however, look back and reflect and perhaps find new paths that take us to some of the roads we could have taken. In ways it is a second chance.