Not long ago RTE Guide carried a brief report of a talk by Robin Sharma in Dublin. The well known author referred to a meeting he had with one of Asia’s top CEOs. Sharma asked him what the secret of his outrageous success was. The CEO smiled and said: “I make the time to think.”

That man of considerable wealth apparently spends at least 45 minutes each morning with his eyes closed, deep in reflection. He is not praying or meditating but thinking. He is thinking about himself, his life and the direction he is taking in his life.

Impressed with what he heard, Sharma says: “Few things are as disappointing as investing all your time, energy and potential climbing a mountain only to find – once you are at the top – that you climbed the wrong mountain. Thinking and reflecting ensure that you are on the right mountain.”

For leaders, business men and women, and busy people everywhere, there is one thing that is most beneficial and necessary: time to be alone, space for self-reflection. For most of them there is one thing that is most difficult to do: to be alone, to be silent, and to do quiet self-reflection. They share with neurotics everywhere a difficulty in being quiet and silent. Many of them pay a heavy price for it in an unhealthy lifestyle, troubled relationships, increased stress, and misplaced priorities.

A simple question to ask oneself at any significant time, perhaps every day, is: Is this where I wish to be in my life?