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Happy Leap Year: Looking Forward and Backward

Picture of Karl Palachuk

Karl W. Palachuk
February 29, 2012

People are interesting creatures. We create an artificial thing called time, divide it into little increments, and then assign meaning to those increments. Today is Leap Year Day. We won’t get to experience February 29th for another four years.

In my book, Relax Focus Succeed, I discuss the topic of looking forward and backward. There, and in seminars, I give the example of five, ten, and fifteen years. Today let’s look at four years.

Consider four years ago – February 29, 2008:

– Where did you live?

– Who did you live with?

– What car did you drive?

– Where did you go to work?

– How old were you? Which milestones have passed since then?

– What was your favorite hobby?

– Who did you spend time with?

– What groups did you belong to?

– Where did you go to church?

– Which books did you read?

– What was your favorite TV show?

– Were you prepared for the financial “crash” in late 2008?

– What was your relationship status (married, single, dating, etc.)?

– What color was your office?

You get the point. Consider all the things that can change. How many things stayed the same? How many are partially the same? How many are very different?

It is often difficult to see the future. Humans have a tough time with changes they don’t create. But look at those questions again and turn them to the future. Where will you live four years from now? What milestones will pass?

On a very personal note, the last four years has been quite a time of upheaval and change in my life. Four years ago I was married and didn’t know it was about to end. In the last four years I passed the 10th anniversary of being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

I also passed the anniversary of my father’s death (at age 50). And I passed the age 50 mark with a strong heart and no worries about my health.

In the last four years my daughter went from 15 to 19, from girl to woman, and from high school to college.

As I look ahead, I see me being better off financially in four years (2008/2009 was not good to me financially).

In four years my daughter will be a college graduate and maybe even in grad school.

In four years I’ll be driving some other kind of car, live in some other house or apartment, and maybe live in a different city.

My plan is to transition into writing more and making more money from speaking engagements. I already make a living at it, but I’m still very involved in a technical consulting business. We’ll see.

– – – – –

Take some time today (or in the next few days) and consider where you’ve been and where you’re going. Place meaning onto this moment in time savor it. Soak it in. And begin building a plan for the future!



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2 Responses

  1. Karl, I love your blog- and great minds really DO think alike! I am moved by your story of the past four years and really can relate. I am honored to have you as a friend, and wish you for you nothing but the best things in the next four years, and all the years after that. In fact, I now want to fill out your “questionaire” and see what twists and turns life will lead me to in the next four years. Blogging is a much easier way to store that data in the cloud, rather then loose-leaf paper in a tin can I can dig and put in the dirt (which was my original idea ala time capsule). What a great idea, I am not so good with a shovel anyway! =o)

  2. Karl – great blog, and very thought provoking to look at where we have come from to where we are going.

    I think Michelle summarised a great benefit of blogging in that it helps you easily look back at what you were doing. I also do an end of year in review blog post for this reason.

    Good luck with the transition to full time author. Based on your existing writing, you’ll have no problems with this move at all!

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