“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today?”

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What House Are You Building? (Part 4 of 4)


Check your attitudes daily

Living an extraordinary life is done internally through the daily positive alignment of your attitude. Your attitudes and the choices you make today build the house you live in tomorrow. Build wisely! Build with commitment, pride, joy, love and passion.

Your attitude is contagious and sets the mood for those around you. Your employees get excited when you are excited. They are energized when you are. Plato opened up ‘The Academy’ in Athens at the age of 40, when life expectancy was 36. He ran this first university, training Aristotle and others, until he was 80. Pursuing focused positive dreams arms one with high energy and leads to an extended, rewarding life.

I don't have time to think!

This is a pretty common reaction: I don't have time to reflect. Which begs the question: Do you have time to make the same mistakes over and over again? Or to remain unfocused, running around like a headless chicken? Or lack energy to fulfill your dreams? I remember an old boss once told me that I was not paid to sit around and think. On hindsight, that was probably the worst advice I received.

Leaders should spend at least a quarter of their time thinking about the future of their company and reflecting on the past. It may seem ludicrous to spend time reflecting but “real work” can only be done right when you know where you are going and have the energy to get there.

Final thoughts

If we could do things over, we probably would do many things differently. And better. But the problem is, we cannot go back. We are just like the construction worker. Each day we hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall in our career, family and lives. Are you doing it with focus and energy? Are we improving ourselves by learning from our mistakes?

If the fire in our eyes has diminished and we are going through life in auto-pilot, with the joy of life seemingly leaked out, it is time to take stock of life and reflect. Socrates, Ben Franklin and most great leaders believed that reflection led to a productive and fulfilling life. And don't say you don't have time.

The End.

End note: My friends, there you are. Remember to Focus – Energize – Learn. This cycle can be easily achieved if we continue to reflect, reflect and reflect. Each and every day! In Islam, we have the concept of Muhassabah. Our Prophet S.A.W. reflects (muhassabah) his life every day without fail. So what say you? Reflect we must!

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