ADVICE

Personal time is chance to retool, recharge

'Before you go to bed at night, clear your mind so you can dream and wake up with answers.'

Posted 8/13/12

I’ll be spending the month of August in Paris with my family. I can’t describe how wonderful it will be. My goal is to finish a book, take in the culture, enjoy my family and think.

Investing time in your thoughts – especially in an amazing place – creates incredible results. More on that later this month.

Jessica, my partner and mother of our daughter, Gabrielle, came up with a great idea to give our staff an insight into what we do in Paris by giving them a week off (with full pay), and challenge them to spend (invest) their time thinking or achieving a lifelong goal.

I’m sending my staff a few ideas on thinking to get them going, and I’m sharing them with you. These are personal insights that will help you achieve some original thought, reaffirm some existing thought, and maybe even get rid of a few unwanted thoughts.

1. Identify your “non” feeling and state of mind. What’s up? Happy? Sad? Afraid? Mad? It’s important that your mind at least be in “neutral” before you start the thinking process, and the more the needle leans toward happy and positive, the more productive and rewarding the thinking time will be.

2. Wake up and write. It doesn’t matter what it is, just write whatever comes to mind. Don’t force yourself to do it, just let words flow. As you think, capture your words.

3. Mentally go back to the house you grew up in and picture yourself in each room, one at a time. Stories will begin to pop into your head about what happened. Pick the fun ones and document them. This may even prompt you to call some people you love that you haven’t been in touch with recently.

4. Don’t write about your goals – focus on things you would like to achieve. Write a bucket list of places you must go before you die. Go online and find pictures of each one of them and paste it next to the place you want to go. Make it real. India may be a place you want to visit, but putting a picture of the Taj Mahal makes it more real. After you have listed all the places, jot down a few things you must do. Maybe it’s run a marathon, or go to the library more often. Whatever it is, or they are, commit to it (or them) in writing. Add to the lists regularly.

5. Find a quiet place where you can be alone to write. Starbucks is not the best place. A park is better. I spend a lot of my time in parks and by water. Something about the sound of wind or the sound of the water is calming. Just an added note: I do not listen to music while I write, but if I did I would listen to light jazz or classical.

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