Mortality Part 1: I Discovered I was Mortal When…

Snow Lake Canoe RaceLabour Day Weekend, 1982.

Two weeks earlier my canoe racing partner and I had won our class at the Canadian nationals in long distance canoe racing.

We were now in the biggest race in North America, Classique internationale de canots de la Mauricie, aka The Classic, aka Shawinigan.

We had a bad start, and got behind the huge waves (3-4 feet!) created by the combined waves of the 100 or so canoes at the starting line. At one point the water in front of us was sucked away and we ended up on dry land, requiring us to get out and carry the canoe sideways back into the river.

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Fear-Driven Decision Making

Fear-Driven Decision Making“I have personally seen very successful businesses destroyed by their owners making a
sequence of fear-driven decisions. I have seen none destroyed by courage.” -Dan Kennedy

Dan Kennedy is a brilliant and very successful direct marketer, famous in both the offline and online marketing worlds. I had the privilege of seeing him live back in 1997 and I still have the notes. I’m currently reading yet another one of his books.

I think his observation applies to more than just business.

It’s not that fear-driven decisions will necessarily destroy your life, as in kill you. But they may well suck the joy out of your life. And the adventure. And the whole point.

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What is Success to You?

I once got an email that asked the question “Do you think people who are extremely successful have less work/life balance?”

I replied, “Define successful.”

The response focused in on net worth, which is certainly one form of success. And I suppose if we’re honest, money-related success seems to be the one that preoccupies us the most.

But few of us when pushed will define ultimate success in terms of dollars and sense.

What’s your best definition of success?

I have several on file:

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Embracing Death

You do realize the life insurance is actually death insurance?

You don’t get paid if you live. The payout comes when you die, and you aren’t the one who gets it!

And when someone saves another person’s life, they haven’t actually saved a life, they’ve simply postponed a death.

I read about an insurance broker meeting with one of his 80 year old clients, and the client made the statement “If I die….”

If I die.

As if there is an if.

One time I was speaking at the funeral of a friend. I made the comment that death was coming toward each one of us like an unstoppable freight train. At that moment someone’s cell phone went off. And their ring tone was a train whistle.

Sobered everyone right up! It really helped make the point.

But what’s the point?

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How to Take a Personal Retreat

Click Here to Get a Personal Retreat Planning Template

One thing that becomes obvious to anyone who tries to work through the goal-setting and life-planning exercises mentioned in my book Release is that it takes time. Un-rushed time. And, as it says in the book’s Foreword, “In much of the world today there is no rarer commodity.”

One of the best things you can do to jump-start your life planning is to take a retreat. It’s not as scary as it sounds, and could be one of the most beneficial habits you form.

So, pasted for you below, taken from the upcoming Release Life Planning Manual, is a short summary of how to do a retreat. If this stirs you to do your first retreat, please let me know how it goes. And if you have other retreat tips, please share them below.

1. While it is possible to benefit from a half day or a day away by yourself, there is a significant gain in benefit if you can take two nights away. This gives you a full un-rushed day for reading, writing and reflection.

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