Photo by VZZZual on Creative Commons

Whether we are considering a career move, a major initiative, our team’s strategic vision for 2016, or simply the critical meeting this afternoon, often the hardest question we face is: What do I want?

We don’t usually start with that question. We more often set a plan or agenda and move ahead with a stated intention that seems perfectly logical. Then the wall of reality appears and we think:

“Why is this so hard?”

“How is it possible?”

What is this chaos about?”

Frustration, second-guessing, and anxiety can move in.

And when we slow down our own insane internal dialogue, we are left with the question: “What do I really want?” This question is not just hard to answer, it is also quite illusive. Now we are clear, now we’re not.

The process of gaining (and regaining) clarity requires three things:

  1. Our internal reflection time, even if just breathing deeply in the parking lot to your building.
  2. Time and effort to break down all the aspects and alternatives that ground your decision or re-decision.
  3. The desire to create something truly remarkable—at the end of the day, you have to WANT what you say you want.

Notice that the first two require time, probably time you don’t easily have. Time you have to make for yourself. I wish I could disappear that reality, but I haven’t found the secret yet.

Today, identify one critical decision or conversation and truly consider what you want to create—exactly.