With all the focus on being in the present moment these days, we can miss a treasure trove of opportunity to remember past skills, successes and those moments that lit us up.  Looking back to look forward can be a great exercise to get us moving ahead.

Try out this process and these questions that have helped others take stock and discover ways to explore new paths.

Begin by creating a timeline for every ten years of your life to the present.  This snapshot of your life can be linear, circular, words or pictures.  Don’t worry about the format. You are the author.

Here are some questions as you think back over the years to document activities or events in your life:

  • What was going on in your life during that ten-year period?
  • What activities (this can be playtime, school, parenting, work) did you enjoy?
  • What skills did you use to excel?
  • What challenges did you overcome?
  • Who was in your life that helped create who you are today?

Once you have finished documenting your life to date, look for any patterns that drew you to specific experiences, situations or people.  Were you drawn to certain strengths?  Did you find lost interests?  Or, is there something you wished you had tried?

Your life’s path is filled with examples of what gives you joy and makes You great.  It can also show you those golden nuggets that can bring you out of complacency and point you to the new and different.  Whether you desire to improve your leadership, make changes in your career or navigate personal and professional transitions altered by circumstances, looking back can be a powerful reminder of the many successes, talents, and experiences that we can use to build on career success, lead more fulfilling lives or leave a legacy going forward.

So, what questions (and answers) have you come up with to explore the past and Re-engage, Reinvent or Rewire in your work and life?  Where do you want to G(R)O?  Post them here so others can benefit!

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