What do you most want in your life or in your business?
If you have an immediate answer to this question, I applaud you — because you are the exception, not the rule.
The secret to getting what you want begins with getting clear about what you actually want.
Yet “What do I want?” is one of the most difficult questions for us to answer.
After all, to answer authentically, you need to get past the noise of what you think you should want or perhaps even what others want for you. There may even be family, cultural, or professional beliefs you need to confront about what it is “good” to want and what it is “bad” to want.
For example, if you want to make a lot of money and your family conversation has been something like “wealthy people are greedy,” you will have to find a way to reconcile what you do want with what you’ve been taught to believe is not something you should want.
The question “what do I want?” is perhaps one of the most important for you to answer.
Why? Because it is the key to being in the driver’s seat of your life, your career, and your business.
There’s a saying that, if you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there. The same applies in life and business.
As a business coach and consultant, I am often surprised at how hard people are working without a clear understanding of what they are really working towards. Frustration, feeling overworked and unsatisfied, are good indicators you don’t have a good answer to this question.
After all, if you don’t know what you want, you’ll end up with whatever you get. And you can’t possibly figure out how to get what you want when you aren’t clear about what that is!
Take some time to think about the following questions in the context of your life, business, or career – or perhaps even all three.
- What do you want to have?
- What do you want to do?
- What do you want to experience?
If you are having trouble getting started, try adding “more of or less of” to the end of each question. For example: “What do you want to experience more of or less of?”
A question I’ll add is: who do you want to become in the process?
After all, the real masterpiece you are creating in pursuit of what you want is becoming the best version of you.
I encourage you to write your answers down and to keep writing and keep simplifying until what you put on paper represents your definition of success and satisfaction on your terms, based on what matters most to you.
Remember that only you can answer these questions for yourself. It may take an hour, a year, or even longer to get to your answers.
However long it takes, though, stick with it. It will be worth the effort; because the day you know what you really want is the day you truly begin living your life, or building your business or career, by design rather than by circumstance.
All there is to do next is to keep making choices consistent with what you want. Sure, it will take time. It may even take the rest of your life. Yet you’re likely to enjoy the journey a lot more from the driver’s seat.
The simple secret to getting what you want is knowing what you want, followed by the discipline to keep making choices to make it so.
Ready. Set. Go!
This article previously appeared on Random Actus of Leadership