Want to figure out where you’re going? Everything we do in life – the choices we make, and the ones we don’t – are part of our journey, and we owe it to ourselves to live with intention – or risk ending up in a place we didn’t plan to be. Here are a few questions to point you in the right direction and guide your focus:
1) What will people say about you when you’re gone?
As Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” How do you want to be remembered? And what character traits might you need to work on to make this happen?
2) What in your life will you be most proud of at the end of your days?
If there is one single accomplishment or modus operandi that will dominate or define your life’s work – what is it? This is the one thing important to you above all else.
3) What kind of person would you most like to meet?
We tend to attract people like ourselves, and motivational speaker Jim Rohn states that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with – in terms of the opinions, attitudes, and conversations we regularly expose ourselves to. So your responsibility to yourself here is twofold – you must work to become the kind of person you want to meet, and you must make sure that the people you spend the most time with are those you would be proud to be influenced by.
4) What will your life look like when you feel that you’ve “made it”?
This should present a balanced view of your life – career, relationships, other areas of interest – what are the essentials? Focus on these, and avoid other distractions and “shiny things” that won’t get you there.
5) What is your message to the world?
At our Lean In Toronto January event this year, we were graced with the presence of a wonderful speaker, Nancy Trites Botkin of consulting firm Think8 – who conducted for us a workshop entitled “Living Life Out Loud: Knowing My Message”. In it we explored the messages of various public figures (such as Mother Teresa and Sheryl Sandberg), how they communicated and lived these messages, and developed our own message. What is the message you want to send out to the world every day, that will guide how you think and act?
If you found these useful, let me know in the comments!