No. 1046



The other day I was searching for something in my office and accidentally stumbled across a whole box of books that I had stuck back and had not read or thought about in years. This box contained a large number of booklets titled, “How to Plan Your Life: for school and college use only.”
The copyright was 1976. This was my first attempt at writing. It came as a result of my work with students in our nation’s schools and colleges, as I had developed a six-hour seminar to help students develop some life and career goals. I scarcely recognized the young man’s photo on the back cover. Obviously a lot of water has run under the bridge since then.
As I re-read and thumbed through this booklet, there was something of particular interest on the inside of the back cover titled, “How to Plan Your Life” – Check List. This was the wrap-up after a student had read the Introduction, Laws and Principles and filled in the blanks in response to the following questions: Who Am I? – Where Am I? -- Is it Possible for Me? – Where Do I Start? – Now What? – Is That All There is To It? And then I added a detailed explanation of these major areas of life – Spiritual, Family, Work or School, Income, Time Management, the Importance of Habits, the Importance of Communication & Change, and Continuing Education.
As I said earlier, the checklist was of particular interest because it was a yes-or-no summary to confirm if the student knew and understood the material they had just covered. While space will not permit me to share them all, I will give you several examples so you can see what I am talking about. It may be interesting for you if you would mentally answer these questions as well. Remember: Yes or No.
No. 1- Do I really understand who I am as a person – a unique human being with unlimited potential for growth and development in the free world? No. 2 – Have I taken a realistic inventory to determine where I am in terms of the development of my potential? Do I know my strong and weak points and what remains to be done? No. 3 – Am I aware that I have the ability to think, plan, reason, and make personal choices which will determine my environment, my rewards, and my future, and also the future of those who depend on me?
No. 4 - Have I given much thought to what I want out of life? Do I have my long- and short-range goals written down with a time limit placed on them? Do I realize the way to get things done is to create a sense of urgency? No. 5 – Do I understand that my own mental attitude towards myself, my service to other people, and the work I have chosen will determine my material success and happiness? Do I further understand that the willingness to work for what I want will make my goals become a reality? No. 6 – Am I becoming an autonomous person? Do I fully understand the importance of persistence and do I have a personal commitment to my goals so that I “won’t quit”?
Well, I must stop here because I want to make some closing comments. They say that “hindsight is 20/20” and I know this is true. Now, 40 years later, I have a little different perspective than I did back then. To be sure, the information I shared in my little booklet will work and, if followed, will help anyone become more successful. However, I have also learned that we must have balance in our lives if we are to be a happy person.
Believe it or not, when I started this column it was to talk about living a “Seize-The-Moment” life. Plan, work and succeed, YES, but don’t ever be so rigid that when a great opportunity for fun comes along, that you can’t take the time to enjoy it. We only live once.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: THE DEAL OF THE CENTURY – Begin your day on a positive note – 365 days for $12. This will benefit the Bookcase for Every Child project. Go to to subscribe.)