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Chapter 2. The Preparation Hand > SUCCESS CARD 1: Step Back & Take Stock

SUCCESS CARD 1: Step Back & Take Stock

Step Back

To win at this game, first you're going to need to take a step back. Stepping back allows you to clear the clutter and noise of everyday life and begin to see the bigger picture. It helps you decide what you really want. To do that, you need to get away from the daily grind and find some solitude. You can't find the quiet you need by closing your office door or sitting alone on your bed. Get out of your typical, everyday environment. If you can, get out of town. George, a busy sales manager, climbs trees. He's not trying to relive his childhood; he's a deer hunter, and a number of momentous life and career decisions have been made in the solitude of a Michigan forest up in a tree stand at 4 in the morning. His wife retreats to a cottage near Lake Michigan's sand dunes. She also surrounds herself with nature, preferring to watch deer rather than hunt them. The majesty of the great dunes and their ancient history help her put things in perspective.

Your retreat might be on a beach, in a tent, or in a suite with twenty-four-hour room service. Cross-country flights can be a great time to do some deep thinking. A long plane trip, with phones, beepers, and computers turned off, can give you the space you need to strategize, process, and prioritize. Granting yourself “think time” periodically allows you to remove yourself from the all-too-familiar routines of life and work—which can easily overpower big-picture thinking.


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