Do you ever feel that you haven’t got time to think? Do you ever feel that life and experiences are just passing you by because you spend much of your day firefighting?
By doing this short exercise every day (or at least every week), you will find that when you do, you’ll have far more perspective on life and on your career. Everybody I have spoken to who has tried this exercise, has found it to be incredibly valuable. It’s an exercise I do myself.
1. Sit down somewhere quiet. Make sure there will be on interruptions, and take a deep breath to quiet your mind. Try and become aware of any tension in your body, let it go. Consciously let the tension go from your muscles.
2. Replay your day (or week) in your mind. Think about any strong emotions that you had (either positive or negative). Reflect on those and try and understand what was going on for you.
3. Think of all the things you were grateful for. Think of three things that went well that day (or week). Think about why they went well, and what you did that made them turn out well.
4. Think about the things you found difficult and struggled with. Think about what you might need help with. Where can you get this help? Who could you ask?
5. Think of your family, friends, and colleagues. What do they seem to be struggling with or find difficult. What could you do to help them – to help them have a better day tomorrow?
6. Reflect on anything you did today (or during the week) that you regret. What mistakes did you make? Were you unpleasant to anyone? Do you need to say sorry to anyone? If you could turn the clock back, is there anything you would have done differently?
7. Think about tomorrow. What is the one thing you could do that might make tomorrow a better day? Maybe you could remember to take a break at lunchtime? Perhaps try and be a better listener? Maybe you could try to be better at saying no to people?
And in the words of Bob Dylan...
"If you haven't all the things you want, be grateful for the things you don't have that you wouldn't want."