Checking my progress

What is the meaning of life?

Does a tree falling make a sound if there is no one to hear it? How many angels can fit on the head of a pin?  Today my head is whirling with unanswered (and maybe unanswerable questions). Is my fuzzy head the result of overindulging on Thanksgiving turkey or something more significant? Does it matter what is causing it?

Stop and reflect

It has been nearly a year since I retired for the second and, I hope, last time. Over that time I developed a plan to build a community of retirees of any age who want their retirement to be outrageous. I planned my work and worked my plan. As I look around today at my accomplishments during the year, It hasn’t happend. I am not discouraged, however.  There is a great deal to feel pleased about. I have grown in my abilities and sharpened my vision. I have tried new things, dropped what wasn’t working and gotten better at old ones.


A mentor of mine likes to talk about PDCA as a tool in managing any activity. The letters stand for Plan, Do, Check, Adjust. It is a cycle that allows you to up your game by changing your plan or your level of activities when you don’t accomplish your goals. I have planned and done. Now it is time for me to check my results and then adjust my plan.

What is success?

I started this morning by rewriting a post from last summer. The topic was success and although my thinking hasn’t changed, I believed that I could improve the writing. One of my activities is to revise earlier posts to make them more effective. In this case, I wanted to clear my head and look at success as a starting point for checking my progress.

Checking my progress

My eyes are still on the vision of success that I started with but I will be looking at the pieces of my plan and how well they support my vision. Feedback is terribly important in this process because my judgement is flawed and biased. I will be grateful if each reader today will check out my thinking about success and then leave a comment below telling me what you find valuable here on the blog (and what you don’t like as well because that is even more important for me to know). I would like also to know what your questions about your own retirement or lifestyle decisions are and what information might help you manage your life better. I appreciate your help.

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Dave Doolin November 26, 2010, 9:47 am

    PDCA – That’s a new one for me and I like it.

    I’m doing the same thing right now. I’ve scaled back posting on the blog to create enough time to pursue related projects, but more importantly, so that I can get some perspective on what I got done, what I didn’t get done, and what I want to attempt next.

    Sharpening my sword, if you will, before I return to the arena…
    Dave Doolin’s last Blog Post ..4 Types of Tweets- Don’t Yell Into the Wind!

  • Ralph November 26, 2010, 10:14 am

    My sword definitely needs sharpening but then I need to know what to cut.

  • Janette November 26, 2010, 8:35 pm

    Interesting article.
    I’ve just started reading your blog- from Satisfying Retirement. I do lots of looking from people’s blogroll. That usually tells me if I want to return. Maybe that is part of your “success ideas” from your article.
    We are trying to figure out the balance between visiting family and “just being home”. Work used to be “our excuse”. I miss family- but am beginning to really miss home as well.
    Janette’s last Blog Post ..Black Friday

  • Ralph November 27, 2010, 7:16 am

    Thanks for the suggestion and the question. Your question is an excellent one. There is no simple answer and it will be very personal. Maybe a bigger question is more general- how do I know that I want from what I think I am supposed to want. Maybe I’m reading into your question my own thoughts. There is a lot of depth in that question.
    Ralph’s last Blog Post ..Retirement Advice- Do Something!

  • Steve Skinner November 27, 2010, 6:30 pm

    I appreciate the fact that most of your posts pose a question that causes me to think. When you cause someone to think then I always assume that to be a good thing.
    Steve Skinner’s last Blog Post ..Always A Time For Giving Thanks

  • Ralph November 28, 2010, 6:55 am

    Thanks for that feedback. I have lots of questions and not so many answers. I am looking all the time. Keep thinking.
    Ralph’s last Blog Post ..Retirement Wishes- You want to be Outrageous

  • John McNally December 2, 2010, 5:11 am

    I’m on my first retirement Ralph, and I hope it’s the last.

    The first line of your post drew me in, what I would like to know is; “If I’m walking in a forest and my wife isn’t with me, am I still wrong?” 😆

    I think we are both on a similar journey Ralph, so I will be back. I want to see where you end up. 😉

    John McNally’s last Blog Post ..5 Topics for Blog Posts

  • Ralph December 2, 2010, 7:29 am

    Thanks for your comment. Your question intrigues me because I don’t understand the context but it sounds like an important one. My wife is an important part of my lifestyle plan but she isn’t with me in terms of directing my activities. This is definitely my last retirement because I am no longer fit to work for anybody. I look forward to hearing more from you and how you answer your question.

  • Barry the Boring Bushwacker December 2, 2010, 8:45 am

    Howdy Ralph,

    I snuck over here from John McNally’s blog and I’m glad I did.

    You are in the “close to solitary confinement stage” of your blog and this is where the tapping really meets the information highway.

    I like your questions, topics and direction and you may be assured that I will come back to confuse any issue you might address.

    Your heart is showing pal and in my books, that’s an awesome talent in the blogosphere.

    Keep up the great effort pal and have a grand day doing it!

    Barry the Boring Bushwacker’s last Blog Post ..Hallucinating For Profit

    • Ralph December 2, 2010, 8:58 am

      Thanks for stopping by and the encouragement. I find that the best help I get is from people who confuse my points and I need all the help I can get.

  • Aaron Fuller December 3, 2010, 7:25 pm

    When I went to church the other month, the gospel discussed there really had an impact on me. That time, I’ve realized that I’m in the right path. I felt that I already know my mission. Though I am not yet 100% sure, I know that what I’m doing right now is the right way towards my mission of helping other people.
    Aaron Fuller’s last Blog Post ..Reverse Phone Number Lookup

    • Ralph December 4, 2010, 6:46 am

      For me there is nothing more satisfying than knowing that I am on the right path. As I am learning you probably never get to perfection. It is a process. Best wishes for your success.

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