The Right Question

“Nothing is more dangerous than the right answer to the wrong question.”

Peter Drucker

In my mind, the customary question consultants ask: “What keeps you up at night?” is a wrong question. It is not that I am unconcerned about your pain. It is that the answer inevitably focuses on what is wrong (which can and should be fixed with efficiency) over what is right. It is preoccupied with your fears and anxieties. It blinds you to your opportunities. It is a false start to a future that can be so much more.

The only way to permanently transcend your circumstances is to look beyond your circumstances.

We don’t have time, you and me, for any more rabbit trails. What I want to know is:

“What makes you WANT to get up in the morning?” 

I want to know if you have the courage to let go of your past mistakes and reach out to a better future.

Drucker also said, “When you see a successful business someone once made a courageous decision.” Looking forward…envisioning a better future…is a courageous act. In the short run, it may seem safer to conform to the expectations of others.  In the long run, this is not the differentiation that creates advantage but convergence which leads to commoditization.  Living your life, managing your business by the opinions of others rarely leads to achievement.

When it comes to pain, what I want to know is whether your pain has caused you to become shrunken… small and closed from fear of more pain…to live as someone you are not. To be so busy dying you have forgotten how to do life. Or, have you reached that point where you have had all you can take and are ready to do something about it.

I really don’t care how much money you have or where you live. I want to know if you are who god intends you to be. I want to know if you can stand the truth, yours and mine, and believe you have something significant to contribute to this world. Are you willing to reach out for that significance and, reaching it, help others do the same? For, there is a difference between prominence and significance.

I want to know if you are looking for something to live for…or, having found it, if you are making a difference in the lives around you… great and small. Can you bring yourself to believe, once again, that the personal fulfillment of significance transcends any form of prominence?

I want to know if you will let me help you answer the right question. I want to know if I can contribute to your life by joining you on your journey for a while… If we can come together…you and me…and become greater than we now are.

I want to know:

How I can help you WANT to get up in the morning?

What makes you WANT to get up in the morning?

A unique and deeply personal question…an introspective question. Do you know? Are you brave enough to ask it? Are you willing to go where it takes you? Are the other people in your life willing to let you go there? What about them? What makes THEM want to get up in the morning? Are you compatible? Do you want to know?

You can see that finding and doing your life’s purpose is a challenge. I want you to know it is worth it. YOU unlocked is a power to behold.

After years of struggle Jesus asked a lame man, “What Do You Want?” Is this selfish? I don’t think so. Because the answer to this question can lead to a life of fulfillment, if ignored a life of misery. Those you love are affected, for better or worse, either way.

I find 4 common business scenarios:

  • Your passion causes you to want an even deeper commitment but you aren’t sure how.
  • It is time to move on, and you can, but can’t figure out how to do it.
  • You want to move on, but circumstances won’t allow it.
  • For whatever reason you can’t stay even if you wanted to.

Over the course of time your life’s purpose changes. There are seasons for everything. During your career you will likely encounter at least 3 of the 4.

There are, of course, people lucky enough to already be fulfilling their life’s purpose. Perhaps you are one of them. What about the others? Your spouse? Your partner? Your children? Your parents?

WOW! Stop Alan. This is too heavy. Is it? Or is your “suffering servant” persona causing you to bear an unnecessary cross? All 4 scenarios, as well as others, have better solutions than living a life out of synch…dying. Feeling trapped and living an unfulfilled life is an endless circle.

Unfortunately, man often makes peace with circumstances. We learn to exist. Rather than DO life. So, one last question:

Are you willing to believe you deserve better?

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