Your Life and Career: Difficult Questions for a Brighter Tomorrow (II)

In part one of this series, we discussed one life-changing question, and I showed you how to make use of that question successfully. In this second part of the series, I want to present three more questions that will take you closer to envisioning an exciting future.

Depending on the circumstances of your life, you may not need to entertain all three of these questions. Pick one or more, depending on what fits your life the best.

1. What if your current career or business is not the right fit for your future?

2. With all you know, what if you won’t be able to figure your way up the corporate ladder or start and grow your own business successfully?

3. In another 10 or more years. Will you look back over your life and career with a smile? Or regret?

These may seem like odd questions, but they force you to take assumptions you may hold today and think again. Rethinking those assumptions is quite powerful, and I want to help you use these questions efficiently.

Let the Big Picture Guide You

I have been involved in business from many angles and if am not mistaken, my business experience started since my childhood.

I worked many years for my family business and have started my own businesses, including current business partnerships. I have spent my days learning as a volunteer and have worked as a salaried employee. I took over the complete management of one of my father’s business when he passed away, but recently, I handed that business off to my younger brother so that I could explore something closer to my heart and more energizing to my spirit.

While I have been incredibly successful in managing my father’s business and some of my other pursuit, my career has not gone without tastes of failure. Through all of this experience, I have come to the conclusion that you have to see the big picture when determining a direction for your career.

Unfortunately, you can spend months and years searching your soul and answering all forms of questions without really seeing the big picture of your life in vivid colors. This is the difficulty of these questions, but it doesn’t mean they are worthless. Sometimes, the best things in life are difficult to master.

If you are like most people, you must have experience a time in your life, when you crave for one or more of the following:

  • Higher pay
  • New career
  • Higher level positions
  • Greater prestige
  • Professional independence

You are probably still  craving for one or more of these things.

Perhaps you are fresh out of the university and are eager to start a career in your field of study. Alternatively, you may be fresh out of university with no idea what you want to do next. Maybe you graduated from university years ago but have failed to do much with your degree.

Who know, you may never have gone through the school system or just didn’t finish school. Perhaps you are tired of working for pennies and want to move up the ladder or want to start your own business.

Wherever you are in your career right now, you should see it as nothing but a clue to the big picture. Your current status is a jumping off point, and the action you take in the coming days will lead up to the amazing future you now envision.

Remember the question that I asked you in the first part of this series and your brainstorming to envision your future. How do you envision your life in 5, 10 or 20 years? Among today’s questions, the one(s) you choose to explore will help you answer that question in even more detail and with greater clarity.

I may not know everything there is to know about business, but I do thoroughly understand what it takes to make better decisions for your life. I also understand that standing by your decisions once they are made is incredibly difficult. It takes courage in many cases, especially when you want to become an entrepreneur and you don’t have all of the resources and support you need to become successful.

I know the challenges of becoming an entrepreneur because I have a been there. In fact, I am still there. I still don’t have the human and technical resources I need sometimes, but I enjoy the thrill of the ride. If that ride is not for you, there are still many decisions in your future as you seek new jobs, climb the corporate ladder, and perhaps change careers at some point.

Find Your Starting Point

When I speak with new entrepreneurs, they typically start with questions like this:

  • What type of business should I start?
  • What are the best ways to raise money?
  • How do I become profitable quickly?

Making money is important, but these are not the most important questions to have in mind when you start your own business. Many professionals will tell you to start with a detailed business plan, but that isn’t the first step either.

If you aren’t going into business for yourself, you may get equally caught up with the following questions:

  • Which careers pay the most money?
  • How can I get my employer to give me a raise?
  • How can I get better benefits from my employer?
  • How do I land a higher-paying position?

These are good questions, but they aren’t necessarily the questions you should have in mind right now. It might be more beneficial to think like a business owner, even if you are an employee rather than the owner.

Whether you want to take the entrepreneurial route or the employee route, it is best to stop those questions and think about your career from the mindset of an extraordinarily successful businessperson. You will find that the super successful businessmen and women who have gone this route before you started with introspection.

They eventually learned how to maximize profit and become financially stable, but that was not their starting point. Your starting point is not in the money, either. It is in learning who you are, what you value in life, and what you envision for your future.

Introducing Lifestyle Questions

Right now, I am not sure of who, but someone called these type of questions I am about to introduce to you “the lifestyle questions” and I believe one reason for doing that is because these type of questions help you to determine the lifestyle you are currently living and the one you want to live in the future.

  • Who are you?
  • What kind of life do you want to live?
  • What life do you envision for your future?
  • What difference do you want to make in the world?
  • What fulfills you?
  • What is your life purpose?

This list could go on and on, but you get the idea. What do you really need to accomplish to feel fulfilled and successful in your own right? It doesn’t matter how others have made money or what jobs pay the highest salaries. Who you are at the core and what you want to do is what really matters.

Do you remember the layers of life that we discussed in part one of this series? They all come into play here, but it is much easier to think about your future when you are coming from consideration of who you are naturally. Those layers blend easier when you are working hard for fulfillment and success that is meaningful to you, rather than meaningful for the rest of the world.

How to Use Lifestyle Questions

These questions can help you make important decisions in your life and career. For instance, if you are trying to decide the right business to start, you can consider who you are and what you want to accomplish in life. That will help you eliminate business opportunities that are not right for you while focusing on those that will carry you to personal satisfaction.

Let Lifestyle Questions Guide You

Right now, I want you to soak all of this information up and rethink the assumptions you have for your career and your life. Spend some time with these lifestyle questions, and then rethink the career path you are currently chasing utilizing one or more of the questions presented in the opening of this post.

What if the career path you have committed to is not actually what you should be doing with your life? What is your life purpose, and what career path should you follow in order to fulfill that purpose?

In another 10 or more years. Will you look back over your life and career with a smile? Or regret? Will you be wishing you had the courage to follow your heart and passions? Will you have truly lived the life you were meant to live?

I know this is heavy, and you may feel overwhelmed right now. I have been there may times myself. Reread this information and keep the lifestyle questions in mind as you go about your daily life. If you are serious about improving your life, you will start to come up with answers to the questions in subtle and unexpected ways. Those answers can change your life, so pay attention and write them down when they come to you.

When you know you are ready, move forward to part three of this series and lets take our discussion to another level.

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