Sometimes it helps to put some effort into soul searching or personal planning to really flush out our life goals as well as overall purpose. But the never ending distractions of the office as well as at home (noise from kids, TV, music, etc.) can be quite restricting to the quiet time needed for such inner reflection
So this is why I have five great places outside of home to do any deep soul searching, personal planning or even business planning that requires focus away from annoying distractions.
A peaceful place like an outdoor garden, park, pond or an indoor place like a church or temple during quiet hours can provide the ideal atmosphere to do some soul searching. Of course, you would have to catch such places when there are few people around and that there are no excess noise such as construction or traffic right next door.
A larger version of the above would be a place of natural scenery outdoors such as by a body of water like a lake or ocean. Mountain ranges or canyons would also fit into this category. Again, you want to access such places where there are no tourist crowds around.
I sometimes go to places right by Lake Ontario but only during weekdays since there are too many people on the weekends. During the week, hardly anybody is around which makes a lakeside spot ideal unless things get too windy. Having said that, I have sat on a ridge overlooking a barren tundra during a trip to the Arctic and even though it was freezing cold, the quietness there did allow me to have a nice soul searching session.
I personally really like airplanes as another place to do any work that requires focus. When the onboard movie is boring and the other passengers are not very social, the white noise of the airplane actually puts me into a productive mindframe. This is why I always carry notes, pen and paper onboard with me whenever I fly. The same can be said of the airport terminal if you have earphones to drown out the noise while you wait for flights.
Also connected to travel, I find hotel rooms to be a great place to do work as well. They are already equipped with a desk and if you have any down time during travel, a lot of productivity can result right in your own hotel room where it should usually be quite quiet.
Airplanes and hotel rooms are two of my favorite places to do soul searching in despite their non-scenic atmosphere. Of course, I cannot book a trip each time I want to be super productive. So my all time favorite place to go when I really want to focus is my pubic library.
Libraries are often underutilized by many people. In addition to many of the resources available in the form of books and other materials, most libraries have study areas. Some libraries have private study rooms which in my mind, is the best place for me to get any real work done whether on a personal or business level.
There are zero distractions in these study rooms since they are often just plain rooms without anything interesting on the walls to look at. You really go there on a mission and that is exactly what I do. If I am stuck on a certain part of my soul searching, I always plan to do some time at a library study room.
Sometimes I will spend two hours in such a room and sometimes I end up being there all day with a packed lunch. Regardless of the duration of time I will spend at the library, I always come out of there with a lot accomplished both mentally and on paper. I come out with a renewed sense of direction.
The tips you read here on Pick The Brain are great but sometimes we need to sit down and think about how we are going to use some of these tips and insights we read about. If home is too noisy, one cannot really put in the right effort to think and reflect.
This is why it is important to be able to access other places where you can go to that will be more productive for you. I have presented my five best places here. What other places have you used successfully for soul searching and focus?
Clint Cora is a motivational speaker, author and Karate World Champion. See his FREE 3-part Personal Development Video Series to learn how to expand your comfort zone to conquer even your most daunting goals in life.