Although I usually reserve year-end for reflecting on life, today seems to be just as appropriate. Since I was given the day off from work, today has evolved into a day of contemplation and reflection of where I've been and where I'm headed. Self-evaluations can be very useful when done with sincere thought and intent. What got me started was a book I recently received, Total Leadership, by Stewart D. Friedman. One of the first things he challenges the reader to do is to define what matters most and what you aim to accomplish in life. I've been through similar activities over the years, always finding it refreshing to put my hopes and dreams down on paper. By defining priorities and values clearly during times of reflection, it allows me to better react and take action during a crisis or stressful situation.
As I've been intently writing down my priorities and values over the past few years, my path has become better defined. One of my long term priorities is to declare independence from employment. I look forward to the day when I can earn a living doing the things I am most passionate about, investing in others. Freedom from having to please and impress my employer motivates me to take action. I continue to do my best at my job, while building skills and tools needed for the future. Over the past six years I have paid off significant debt that was preventing me from pursuing my interests. I have also increased my savings and investments. Of course making these choices also means letting go of other things.
Another priority for me is Freedom of time. Such a precious commodity and too much is spent on things I'd rather not be doing. This fits in with my first priority and I've been slowly making changes in this area to bring it more in line with my values. Over the past few years my time has been invested more in developing networks, connecting people and providing workshops and one-on-one coaching for entrepreneurs. I've also invested more time with close family and exploring beautiful sites across the U.S.
In retrospect, I guess most of my focus is really learning to become more genuine and transparent about my priorities and values. It's about putting things in their proper order of importance on a daily basis and not being swayed this way and that by every passing whim. This is part of a life long process to pursue the path that matters most to me, with the hope that I am able to accomplish what I've set out to do and make a worthy contribution in some small way. May you be successful in Drafting Your Own Declaration of Independence.