Lately, I’ve been doing a LOT of reading and thinking about the future, and by default, there’s been an abundance of jazz and gospel pumping from my headphones as well.
The cause of all this extra big picture thought has been my decision to create a five year plan. I’m too big a believer in the unpredictability of life to think that everything will go as planned, but I still feel the need to get some things down on paper (or a least fleshed out in a word doc) and work towards them.
Somewhere nestled in my five year plan will be going back to school to get my MBA. Taking proactive steps toward that goal, I stopped by the bookstore to check out GMAT books and discovered something else, Ahead of the Curve by Philip Delves Broughton.
In the book, Philip, former New York and Paris bureau chief for the Daily Telegraph of London, recounts his experiences from his two years at Harvard Business school. I’m only about 75 pages in, but so far so good. In the chapter titled “Who Am I?” Philip speaks about the personal development exercise called “My Reflected Best-Self.” He was asked to create his own best-self portrait by answering the following questions:
- How does your best-self profile correspond with the sorts of things you spend the bulk of your time doing?
- What situations or contexts encourage your best-self to emerge?
- What keeps you from operating at your best most of the time?
- How can you priortize your life so that you maximize the potential for your best-self every day?
- What can you do differently?
- What might you consider not doing anymore?
- Are there certain contexts you can put yourself in to maximize your potential?
I know that looks like quite a bit to ponder. I’m gonna try to set aside some time to tackle this this weekend and I challenge you to do the same. What is your “reflected best-self”?
One more thing…if you know of any great models for five year plans or even blog posts that’ll help get things going, please send a few links my way.