Never ask a question that you are not prepared to receive an answer to, even from yourself. The most important question you need to ask yourself is this: “What do you want?” Surprisingly, many people can’t answer it. Just this week, I had three colleagues ask me for career advice. They wanted to know which path they should pursue. I asked each of them that same question. I got back a unanimous answer: I don’t know.
It’s sad really. They are all baby boomers, closer to the finish line than the beginning, and they still have no idea what they want from their life. It’s like they woke up every day for the last 30 years like it was an accident, hoping and praying they can make it through the day unscathed. Maybe they were working for a company they don’t like or believe in, for a substandard salary, even going home at the end of the day to a family they don’t even want.
Don’t be them.
I am constantly asking myself what I want both in my professional and personal life. There is something genuinely powerful that happens to you when you decide what you want. They are tough questions. What car do I want to drive, what job do I want to have, who do I want to be married to, what do I want that to look like, who do I want to spend my time with. When you figure it out, you want to spend the rest of your time trying to achieve it.
If something is worth doing, it is worth doing every day. If it isn’t, then you never do it. Having a willingness to walk away from anything you don’t want, in any area of your life, conveys the message that you are a person who lives according to your values. This attitude will move you forward in all areas of your life. By way of contrast, if you consistently put up with what life gives you and you fail to take people’s advice when they give it to you, that is on you.
As Steve Jobs once said: “For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been no for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
True clarity is an amazing thing. Get clarity and make wise choices.
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