Stop what you are doing right now. No, seriously, stop what you are doing and do one simple thing for me: take a look at your current surroundings. What do you see? In this exact moment, as you are reading this I want you to take note of your immediate environment. Think of it as an assessment of your overall current condition; a surface indicator to your life-journey. Here are some things to consider: where exactly are you? Who is with you? What type of people are immediately around you? What sort of things are in your eyesight? Just take a moment to assess the details…

If a stranger was to get an unbiased view of where you were, what would they say about you? Lets say they knew nothing about you, what would this moment capture about your current state of being? Allow me to describe to you what is around me as I write this: I am sitting at my desk in my room. The book I’m currently reading entitled Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas Freidman leans next to my entrepreneurship toolkit I got from a creative workshop I attended months ago. There is an old picture of my mother next to another picture of a young lady I mentor in South Africa. Next to that is a picture of my father holding me as a toddler. I see colourful artwork from my kids me for Father’s day last year and the outline of my wife sleeping in our bed. There is a prayer I wrote out from the bible: Jeremiah 10: 23–4, next to a picture of my meditation Guru. A diaper is folded next to my laptop as well as my passport, passport photos and a stack of business cards I got from a forum hosted at the Swedish Ambassadors home.

So what do these observations sat about my overall state? First lets define what I mean my your ‘state’ of being. This is your overall condition of your Self. It is your hopes, fears, passions, desires, thinking patterns, emotional maturity, spiritual consciousness and everything in between. It is YOU in your totality as a holistic sentient being! Now there is no way that just taking a snippet of a particular moment in your life will ever fully determine your overall state of being, but it is a good indicator. It provides some hints and clues to what you are about. An intuitive person would pick up that I have a keen interest in the green revolution and sustainable development from the book I’m reading. They would note that I regard my parents and mentee as key influencers in my life and that being a father is a vital part of my identity. Also, my spiritual journey in seeking God has led me down various paths and it is something I still earnestly seek.

Ok now its your turn. Assess yourself and take stock of you current moment. What are your surroundings telling you about you and where you are in life? Are you happy with what you see? Whether you are at work, in a car or out with friends, this is YOUR life! This moment is a culmination of innumerable, multifarious factors that influenced and that brought you to this exact point in time… Now go beyond the physical: take stock of your thinking as well as your emotional state. How are YOU really?

Just as shop owners need to take stock of their merchandise every few days to see what needs replenishing, what needs to be thrown out or what requires fixing, so you should do the same whenever you can on your life-journey. Remember, life should not be lived being short sighted: this journey is long with many pit stops along the way. Just ensure that some of these stops are self-initiated and not only when something is wrong and you are left with no other alternative.