January 19, 2009

Clear Thinking

One of the most common complaints I hear from clients is the lack of time or opportunity to do high-level clear thinking about their business. It’s also one of the most critical elements to successful leadership.

We just came back from a holiday on the South Island of New Zealand. For two weeks we had no phones, TV, newspapers, email, computers or cars. We were off the energy grid so no wires. No industrial noise, energy or pollution. Only clean air, trees and pristine sea surrounded our house.

For the first time since I can remember, my mind was totally clear and calm. None of the usual background noise or constant chatter (aside from my two children). That was a first!

While this didn’t last the entire two weeks, I did experience a clear mind for most of the time.

The impact? People keep telling me I look years younger. I came back fresh - fresh approach, fresh ideas, and a fresh perspective on business, life and relationships. Clients watch out!

While we don’t always have the chance to take off for remote parts (although I highly recommend it) there is no underestimating the critical value of time away from everyday life to think from a clear perspective.

It’s what separates the winners from the whiners.

What clears your mind?

How much time each week do you REALLY need to engage in critical thinking?

How much time are you spending on high-level, critical thinking, and what is the impact on your business of not taking that time?

Schedule at least one hour per week. Combine it with a brisk walk if you need the exercise. If you can’t find a park, go to the library or any other spot away from the office chatter and general noise.

You can’t afford not to.

Thoughts lead on to purpose, purpose leads on to actions, actions form habits, habits decide character, and character fixes our destiny -
Tyron Edwards

A great book - not light reading but very useful: “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” by Sogyal Rinpoche

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