Over the years, I've gotten into the habit of regularly disconnecting from everything for a period of time - work, news, friends, social media, and generally, after a few days, my routines and habitual patterns of thoughts and emotions.

I go to a different physical location to literally retreat from life. I've found that the turn of the year is a good time to do this.

Last year, I did a 10-day silent mediation retreat in solitude over New Year's Eve. But this year, I'm in a different mood.

So as I'm writing this to you, I'm in Mexico, sitting on a beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean with an ice-cold Modelo.

This missive will be short, but with one simple message:

As the year comes to an end, I want to encourage you to take a step back and ask yourself whether what you're doing in life is taking you to where you really want to go.

I wrote to you a few weeks ago, if you're on the wrong train, every stop is the wrong stop.

I know this pattern from personal experience. We think we need to achieve X when really, we want Y. But we don't allow ourselves to see the bigger picture of what we want, because we are too busy being caught up on the wrong train.

That's why I leave my usual environment behind to reflect. Without the noise of the outside world (and your unconscious daily habits), you can tap more deeply into your own desires and reality.

I know this sounds "woo woo" to some of you, like some new-age kool-aid.

But it's an incredibly powerful exercise.

Because thanks to modern technology, working on the wrong thing has a higher opportunity cost than ever before.

You have more leverage than at any time in history to achieve your dreams. It's easier than it's ever been.

So every day you don't work on the right thing is a day you're applying leverage to the wrong path - taking you so much further from your actual desired destination.

Think of it like climbing a mountain. Most of us are so eager to start climbing, we don't worry about the path too much. We just blindly climb. But when we realize our chosen path doesn't take us to the summit, few of us can put our ego aside to admit we were wrong, climb down the whole mountain again, and start from scratch on a different path.

It's much easier to just stay where you are, telling yourself you've invested too much time already in your current path to change it now.

So to help you find out whether you're on the right path, the biggest gift you can give yourself at least once a year is the gift of silence. Silence from other people's opinions (including the well-meaning ones), from outside stimulus, social media, and from the busyness of it all.

When you sit with your own thoughts, you let what you really want come to the surface.

I know this sounds a little mystical, but our brains aren't wired to deal with a constant flow of information from everyone in the universe, all the time.

And, you'd be amazed at how much clarity you get when you just let it all go for a while.

You don't have to do anything. You don't have to take a course, use a journal, notebook or do some kind of exercise (although if it helps you, all the better). You don't have to meditate either.

You just have to not fill your head with new things so that you can let your brain process what's already there.

When you limit the noise that comes into your head, what you really want will come much more naturally to you. You'll get clarity at unexpected moments - like when you're in the shower, going for a walk, in a conversation, or trying to fall asleep.

Use that clarity to determine what you're going to work on in 2021, instead of letting the "busy go-go" version of you write down goals that might only take you further on the wrong path.

Next week, I'll give you a simple framework to help you do this. But I encourage you to approach that framework with clarity, or else, you'll just reinforce a loop that was never yours.

For now, I encourage you to do less. Be with family, or friends if you can. If not, just be alone. Don't distract yourself, and embrace boredom if it comes. You'll be amazed at what nothingness can bring you.

Merry Christmas.

Alex.