Twenty Minutes For The Rest Of Your Life

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

As the New Year approaches, most of us will pause to reflect on the past, experience the present, and make plans for the future.

For the past couple of days, I’ve been thinking about an exercise that I completed in May 2007.  Back then, the City sent me to the University of Virginia for training on how to become a better leader.  As part of the program, the instructors wanted to make sure everyone in the class were aware of the importance of finding balance in life.   They taught the simple truth that an unbalanced person could never be a great leader.  You need to find balance in mind, body, spirit, and relationships to succeed.  Like most, finding such balance on a consistent basis is often elusive for me.  Such is life.

At the end of the week-long training, the instructors walked us through the following questions in just twenty minutes:

  1. In your lifetime … you would like to?
  2. In the next five years … you want to?
  3. With only six months to live … you would?
  4. What are your top three goals in life?
  5. What activities do you need to do to complete each goal?
  6. What is one activity you plan to do in the next two weeks to accomplish each goal?

Looking back at my May 2007 responses, I find myself pondering … “Wow! Where has the time gone?”   I was just 35 years old.  My children were almost eight and five.  Today, my oldest is trying to decide which college she would like to attend.  This past weekend, my wife and I were having serious discussions about our 401(k) plans and dreaming about where we will live when we retire.

Many of my responses from May 2007 were very personal.  Some have been accomplished.  Others I still struggle with.  Such is life.

Looking back, those instructors at the University of Virginia were very wise.  They wanted everyone in our class to pause and think hard before we went back home to our hectic jobs and lives.  They wanted to nudge us into developing a laser-like focus on what was important so that we could experience a good life without regrets.

Yes, time goes by fast.   There’s no better time than today to take stock in what really matters.  Go after your goals with passion and intention in 2016.  Have a great year!

It's good to take time and dream about the future

It’s good to take time and dream about the future