What should I do? This is the question most of us start with when we want to figure out our next move in life and business. Unfortunately, it’s not the best place to start.

To get yourself to the best possible decision, here are the five powerful questions you need to ask and answer:

1. What do I want my life and business to look like in 10 to 15 years?

It’s time to dream of a bigger, better, brighter future. Often, I hear people say, “Well, I’m not worried about 10 to 15 years from now; I want to find a solution for what to do now.” The problem with this thinking is that it doesn’t factor in the most important aspect of present-day decisions: How does a decision today move you closer to your ideal life and business?

A virtually unlimited number of potential options exist at any moment for what to do. However, only a select few of those decisions will fit within the context of what you want to create and build into over the coming years.

In order to open yourself to possibilities, you need to dream about an ideal future life. This is where Carson’s Blueprinting Guide can help you. Until you have a clear vision of what you want life and work to look and feel like in 10 to 15 years, you’re not in the best position to make any major decisions today.

2. What specifically makes this important for me?

In coaching, we call this an anchoring question. To make yourself truly committed to the vision, you need to fully understand why it’s important for you. And why it’s important for you might include how living your ideal future will positively impact the people you care about – your family, friends, team, clients, etc.

Read more: The Lion and the Zebra: How Blueprinting Can Help in Times of Transition

If you don’t have any reasons for why the vision you thought about in the first step is truly important for you, then it will be easy to not follow through on the actions necessary to turn the vision into reality. We always need powerful and meaningful reasons to sustain change and to keep moving down a path toward an outcome we deeply desire.

3. What potential paths might I consider?

Once you know the vision and have a strong sense of why that vision is important and meaningful for you, you can shift into thinking about possible solutions and next steps. This is a time to brainstorm. Do not hold back. No idea is a “bad” idea. All ideas are welcome in this step! Why? Because the more ideas you come up with, the better your potential next steps will be.

Think about it this way: If you only had two choices, how confident are you that your best solution is one of those two solutions? On the other hand, what if you have 100 choices? With that many options, you’d likely have greater confidence that at least one of those possibilities will be the best choice for you!

4. Which path ignites greater energy and aliveness inside of me?

You must consider your own energy and passion. Many of your potential choices might make sense logically. Unfortunately, choosing a path to pursue based on logic alone will rarely be the best path for you. If your heart doesn’t resonate with the path in front of you, then you won’t give your best effort.

Read more: How You and Your Advisory Firm Can Achieve More Through Blueprinting

Energy is required to succeed in anything because success requires effort and effort requires energy. If you’re not energized and excited by the thought of a particular decision, then you’ll be less likely to fully commit and follow through when the going gets tough! Ensure you pick a path that makes you feel alive with excitement and enthusiasm! You’ll just have a sense in your gut when you identify that right choice.

Finally, you’re now in a position to move to the fifth question:

5. What do I want to do?

As I mentioned earlier, many people start here. As you can see, there are four questions that are vitally important to ask before you get here. Once you’ve answered those previous four questions, this one becomes much easier because you’ll have greater clarity and understanding of where you’re going.

You need the context of your larger future vision in order to most effectively answer this fifth question. But once you’re here, it’s easy! Once you decide, you must commit. Know for certain that you won’t always make the right choice, but you can make a choice and make it the right choice by pursuing it fully and passionately!

Your Next Steps

Think of major decisions you need to make in life and business. Write down the three most important, and work through this five-question process to make a decision on what to do next.

AUTHOR

J.J. Peller

Executive Business Coach
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