I don’t know about you, but November 1st flips a switch every year that says “sweaters, the holidays, family, end-of-the-year, and busy!” Before we find ourselves in the tightening grip of all of that, maybe we need a break?! Today may be a “half-time” day to head to the locker room, look over the last 10 months, and prepare for what lies ahead.

In all candor, on any given day of the week, all of us are at half time, mid-life—in the midst of our life—aware of our past but curious about the future. I’ll leave it to the philosophers, but the present moment is ever receding into the past; the future birthing with every breath.  

2022 has been a very tough year. Go ahead and say it—Give me a break! This business is both demanding and rewarding, fulfilling and maddening, complex and simple. We can get caught up in the numbers—sales, revenue, performance, success—only to find ourselves deep in the salt mine of hard labor unaware of what the job is doing to us.

Push the pause button. Go ahead. You can do it. Ask your associate or partner to take your calls for the next 30 minutes, put your cell phone in airplane mode, darken the computer screen, and sit at your desk in the quiet with a blank sheet of paper and write down the first answers that come to mind in response to the following questions.

  1. What am I most looking forward to doing right now that has nothing to do with business?  
    • Are there holiday plans that involve family and friends?  If not, make some.
    • Is there a friend with whom I want to spend some time?
    • Is there a tee time or bridge table or candlelight dinner calling my name?
  1. What gives me joy—deep joy—unlike anything else in my life?
    • Is it the smile and laughter of a child or grandchild?
    • Is it some deep spiritual centeredness that enriches my soul?
    • Is it my love for art or music or the theater or time with my spouse/partner?
  1. If there were no limits of any kind, what would I choose to accomplish or become between now and December 31st?
    • It could be something big or small, personal or relational, business or pleasure
    • What might the first step be to reaching that goal?

When I spend time on my back porch with a glass of ice water and an old journal with lots of blank pages asking those questions, good always follows. During those times, I reflect on these very questions. With a cool breeze blowing across my face as I look out on the Blue Ridge mountains, I come to a place of awareness that awakens me to a new purpose, centeredness, joy, and energy.  

Say it again—Give me a break! Now take that break. Who knows what all of us might discover about ourselves if we gave ourselves permission to push the “Pause” button and have a thoughtful review of our life’s portfolio? After the year we’ve all had, the possibilities might very well touch the realm of astounding.

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