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Growing While Quiet

Taking Time. Wow, I know I need this! For some, it comes during meditation, others while hiking. One of the best place I have experienced this is at Sunday evening Compline, at the Stanford Chapel on the campus. It was a surprise to me. I didn’t know what to expect. But the solid walls, quiet atmosphere, stillness and then beautiful music were like salve. Nothing was said, no sermon, so speaking…just a time of contemplation.

We’ve all heard about the importance of taking time for ourselves. When we hear this we often think of rest and relaxation. Making time for some R&R is important, but it’s not all you need. When was the last time you set aside time to fully reflect on where you’re going and where you’ve been– both professionally and personally?

I challenge you to set aside an hour or two in the near future to reflect, write and discover recent lessons learned while examining how you’ll apply them in the future. Completing a personal retreat is simple. It might consist of an afternoon in the library or your favorite coffee shop. Perhaps you’ll head outside to a quiet spot or spend some time in a local museum. The key is to get away from the rush of your day to day obligations and focus on yourself. Just the intentional action of structuring time for ideation about your career and life goals will create opportunities for future growth.

During your personal retreat consider questions like these as you envision your next season of development:
• What are you not doing now that you wish you were?
• What joyful activities do you want to bring more to the forefront of your life?
• What type of challenges do you feel ready to undertake?
• What are some of the most significant lessons you learned during the past year?
• What specifically can you do to apply the learning you’ve experienced? What will you change, adjust, do more of, or stop doing all together as a result of the new knowledge?
• What goals are you accountable to meeting during the next 3, 6, 9 and 12 months? How about during the next 2 and 5 years?
• Which relationships do you want to commit to strengthening?
• How are you of service to others often?
• What specific results would you like to achieve in the next year?
As you respond to the questions you deem important, take the critical step of writing down your thoughts. Your reflections will make an excellent starting point for evaluating progress the next time you get away to get started on what’s next for you.

From Leadership Moments.

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