Confusion leaves us wondering what is the next step. We spend a great deal of our time thinking about what to do next. When we find ourselves stuck and wondering what we need to do with our lives, careers, businesses, ideas, we might be asking the wrong questions. Rather than asking, “What do I do?” ask, “Who do I want to be?” Over 2000 years ago, the Roman philosopher Epictetus asked, “Who exactly do you want to be?” Our society is obsessed with doing, when being is really our answer.
What if we asked ourselves with every decision we make, “Is this helping me become the person I want to become?” The answer to that question would give us our next step. If we focused on who we want to become, the question of what to do next will likely resolve itself.
A Harvard psychologist said, “Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished.” We are becoming and that is something worth focusing on. Here is a great exercise to moving us along to who we really want to become.
1) Write out the qualities you want — who you want to be. Here’s what I would say about me.
- a person who resolves conflict without belittling and condemning
- a person who adds value where ever I am
- a person who gets outside of her comfort zone on a regular basis
2) Write examples or situation in which you will exhibit these qualities. Again, a few of my own answers.
- When team members have opposing ideas, I will listen with the intent to understand their point of view.
- When I meet someone new, I will purposefully connect them to someone or something that brings value to them.
- When I start to feel uncomfortable, I will remind myself that growth comes when I get outside my comfort zone. (And if I’m not growing, I’m dying.)
3) Create this person everyday.
My hunch is if we begin to create the person we want to be on a consistent basis then knowing what to do next will come naturally to us.
If you want help getting in touch with who you really want to be, I’d love to support you in that. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.