Raise your hand if you’ve ever been at a crossroads in life. We’ve all stood there at one point or another—maybe confused, maybe scared, maybe mad, maybe exhilarated. And today I want to share the (overly simple) two-step formula I use to navigate both personal and professional crossroads in hopes it can help you make the next step forward.
It all comes down to finding clarity.
Step 1: What do you want?
Step 2: Why do you want it?
Once you know what you want and why you want it, you’ve got clarity. And clarity is power—power to make the best decisions to support your “what” and “why.”
If your life is anything like mine (you grow, change, and have different needs at different times in your life), then your “what” and “why” will likely evolve. That’s totally normal. When it happens, go back to step one.
Here are a few personal examples of how my what and why have shifted over the years.
I worked in New York City in 2001. After 9/11, my company laid off my entire division. In an instant, I was launched into survival mode: I was 23 with bills to pay and a nest egg large enough to buy the next month’s groceries. What was most important to me at that time? Safety and job security. My purpose was to land back on my feet and earn enough to pay my bills. This led me into pharmaceutical sales, where I would receive a good paycheck, benefits, and the best sales training in the world. Was it my dream job? No. Did it fulfill a purpose in my life? Absolutely. And I’m eternally grateful for the opportunity.
When I left the agency life after 4.25 days, it was because it didn’t align with my what or why: to do meaningful work for the greater good because my heart was calling me to serve a community of people who needed the gifts I had to offer. So I found a gig that allowed me to do just that. And I did it for several years, until my “what” and “why” shifted again.
During the first month of 2018, I turned down six new business opportunities. Why? These potential new clients did not line up with my mission to help people live their best lives, personally and professionally. They had different coaching needs, something I am capable of, but they didn’t quite fit my what or why. Saying no to these clients allowed me to say yes to others who were a perfect fit. Two months later, my slate is full—with clients I love.
If you’re standing at a crossroads—or if it feels like you’re phoning things in right now and you can’t put your finger on the cause—it’s time to evaluate your “what” and your “why.”
This will help you find your clarity. Find your power. And ultimately, find your happiness.
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