Let’s say you know where you are. And you have a good map and a reliable compass. But you don’t know where you want to go.
If someone asked, all you would be able to answer is, “Not here.”
‘Not here’ is useful information but it insufficient to get you where you want to go.
Because you don’t know where that is.
When you don’t know where you want to go, first ask yourself some questions—curious questions that you can work with.
For example, here’s a non-curious question: “What is my one most perfect life that I ought to be living?”
That is a question with thorns. There is only One Right Answer. And you ought to be living it! In fact, you probably should have been living it already.
So many thorns in that question.
Here’s a curious question: “Of all the possible ways that I might live, what are some that might feel good to me?”
Some have asked, because of these transition posts, if I’m currently going through a transition.
My most recent transition was toward the end of 2018 and into 2019, after my job and I had both changed and it started to feel like we didn’t fit together so well anymore.
I spent several months exploring. I reviewed all the assessments I had ever taken. I read The Pathfinder and Designing Your Life and Find Your Why (and several others but those were the most helpful). I imagined what my heroes might say.
This distilled statement about my ‘good livelihood’ was the result of all that work:
“I like to solve interesting problems, ones I find worthwhile, engaging, and challenging. I use my mind to find simplicity in complexity, and my creativity and empathy to make things that solve problems for others.”
Once I had this statement, it became a comparator for options. If I do X, will it bring me closer to the statement, or will it move me farther away? It’s a lot like the children’s game about getting warmer or colder.
When I left my full-time job, I knew I was going to love my new life because I already had. On Saturdays, I had tested out different versions of how I might spend my Mondays through Fridays.
This was a long way suggest a possible path when you don’t know where you want to go:
- Ask curious questions
- Move toward what feels ‘warmer’
Chewing the Cud of Good
Thankful for the iced tea that I have every morning when I’m working, and for the water after the tea is gone.