Many years ago I attended a business seminar that began in a most unusual way.  Instead of beginning the presentation with a witticism or humorous anecdote, the speaker began by asking a simple question—“What’s really important to you?” and then handed out packets of 4” x  2” inch ‘flash cards,’ each with one word and a brief ‘definition’ printed on them.

After handing out the packets the speaker said, “Pick five” and walked off to the side of the stage and didn’t say another word for about 5 or 6 minutes, giving the audience the opportunity to think about his question and read each of the cards.

Without the audience realizing it, the speaker had accomplished two important things.  It settled the audience and at the same time gained its full attention by having everyone focus on their favorite topic—themselves!

I thought this might be an interesting exercise to share, so I urge to “Pick Five”—it’s easy, it’s quick, and if you allow it, you may even gain an insight or two into yourself.

  • Wisdom – Mature understanding of life.
  • Pleasure – The things you enjoy and delight you.
  • Social – Lots of fun, friends, companionship.
  • Security – Having the essentials you need to live
  • Responsibility – Accountability, maturity, ability to respond.
  • Power – Ability to lead, direct, persuade, control.
  • Wealth – Material income.
  • Advancement – Growth, move up in status, professional or personal maturity.
  • Loyalty – Faithfulness to another person.
  • Creativity – The freedom, ability and desire for new ideas.
  • Health – physical and mental well being.
  • Beauty – The appreciation of loveliness; enjoying art, nature, work.
  • Worthwhileness – Acceptance as a person, not a thing.
  • Morality – Ethical standards, conscience, sense of right and wrong.
  • Knowledge – Seeking and learning new insights.
  • Love – Persona warm feelings of caring and affection.
  • Helpfulness – Sense of concern for an outreach to the needs of others.
  • Faith – Belief in yourself, the goodness of life, goals of your organization.
  • Justice – Fair treatment – getting what you deserve.
  • Recognition – To receive special attention, to “important.”
  • Work – Feeling good about your job as challenging and rewarding.
  • Religion – Belief in a supreme being; a spiritual relationship with others.
  • Independence – freedom, liberation, self-motivation.

Now, if you want to have some fun, ask someone close to you (spouse, significant other, best friend, etc.) to do the same and compare your responses—I can assure you, you’ll find the subsequent conversation interesting.

Quote of the day: “The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C,’ the idea must be feasible.”—A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith’s paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service.  (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)

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