This past weekend I celebrated another birthday. Lately I have been working extended hours on some special projects so I carved out some time to absorb the majesty of wilderness, in my favorite place to reflect. I decided to spend the day hiking at Starved Rock State Park. It's my top day trip "get away" destination and it's an quick one hour drive from my house.

I love exploring the trails and the massive limestone rocks along the Illinois River. Besides taking in the abundant beauty all around me (it is an amazing place), I set a goal to hike farther than I have ever gone before there. Maybe it was ego, pride, curiosity, or maybe it was pure determination. I have gone hiking there for the past 10 years and I guess since I'm a little older the challenge to better my best beckoned.

Hiking at Starved Rock is not like walking along a sidewalk. There are many peaks and valleys, hills and ravines to be traversed. Let me tell you, it's a workout. Within 10 minutes I was taking breaks to catch my breath and I wondered how far I would be able to progress. After all, I am 10 years older than when I originally trekked these trails. Adding to the challenge, it was a hot and humid 90+ degrees.

After several miles of ascending and descending, I knew I had arrived in the vicinity of the point that I would usually turn around and head back. I was having a great time, getting a serious workout, and as challenging as it was, I was considering turning back when a voice within me asked... Are You Satisfied?

Are You Satisfied?

I find myself asking that more and more these days.

As I grow, I find that my goals are more ambitious and expansive.

I yearn to stretch myself a little bit farther.

I long to better my best in everything I do.

When I think I cannot go any farther, is precisely the moment I must stretch a little bit more.

Fulfillment is measured by your own yardstick.

Are You Satisfied?

It's one of the greatest questions you can ask yourself.

Write these 3 words on a sticky notes and place them around your house for one week.

Are You Satisfied?

Look at your list of goals.

Are You Satisfied?

It is a question that opens doors.

It leads to "plussing" your endeavors. It adds to...

It leads to breakthroughs.

It dares you to burst through (perceived) barriers.

You will magically identify areas you can do better.

No matter how happy I am with something, I can always do better, the simple question is an invitation for constant improvement.

Constant and never ending improvement is a discipline, a habit that can be learned by asking questions like this.

Are You Satisfied?

It's a challenge. It's a dare.

Think about it. At work, at play, at the gym, in the car, in your relationships...

One more phone call at work, one more glass of water, one more sit up, one more mile, one more smile, one more hug, one more I love you...

To finish my story about hiking at Starved Rock, I did go beyond. I went farther than I have ever gone before and it was more beautiful than I imagined it would be. It was exhilarating. I took an inventory of my life. I reveled in gratitude. I basked in nature. I set some new goals.

Activate your mental muscles, unleash your subconscious mind, by asking the question:

Are You Satisfied?

Author's Bio: 

Jill Koenig, the "Goal Guru" is America's Top Goal Strategist. An Author, Coach and Motivational Speaker, she is an expert on the subjects of Goal Setting, Time Management and Business Success. Her Goal is to help you develop your full potential. Get FREE Goal Setting resources and tools at: