Once we have moved past the darkest night of the year, the fortunate among us hit pause on our busy lives to reconnect and hang with friends and family — to drink, dine, talk, laugh, maybe even sing and dance — and to reboot our mental circuits.
For me, it’s also a chance to search for deeper meanings — to separate the the signal from the noise, the gems from the junk, the nuggets from the nonsense. What really matters to us and those we care for, what makes a difference, what is worthy of our precious time and attention?
You may believe, as I do, that each of us has a path in life — a vector moving along an arc in time. Some of this happens through planning — but much also happens through serendipity and luck. The pause around the winter solstice creates an opportunity to recap the path behind us and anticipate the one ahead.
I’ve developed a few fundamental questions to periodically take inventory of my past, present, and future.
1. PURPOSE. Who am I? Why do I exist?
2. POSITION. Where am I now? How did I get here?
3. GOAL. Where am I headed? What path leads me there?
4. CHALLENGES. What obstacles stand in my way?
5. RESOURCES. What means do I already have — and what do I need — to overcome these challenges and reach my goal? And what do I now have that I no longer need?
6. TIME. How much do I have?
I also use these in my work in mentoring other people. And as as an organizational consultant, I adapt these for use in group settings — strategy retreats, for example. Just substitute “we” for “I,” as shown in the following diagram.
Wishing you a happy and healthy 2024! Where are you going? My own plans include publishing here on or about the first Tuesday of each month. I’ve got some pretty heady topics in store, but though I’d warm up with something softer. I took the photo at the Benedictine monastery in Mljet National Park, Croatia.