I’ve always been focused on the future.
When my mother tells people about my childhood, she often laughs. She explains how I would walk back and forth on the hearth of our fireplace talking to myself with obvious intensity: “I have to practice my piano so I can get better,” or “I’ve lost my book, and I’ve got to find it.”
As my mother watched me do this virtually every day, I’m sure she just shook her head and smiled.
This same determination and intensity followed me as a grown man going into business.
When my business really began to take off in 1990, I had the bright idea that I needed three cell phones: one for my insurance agency, another for my consulting business, and a third for my family and personal life.
It seemed like a perfect solution to keep those spheres compartmentalized – until all of the phones went off at once! Try sounding cool and collected while you trying to answer three phones at the same time…
The phones were a metaphor for my life: I was a whirlwind of activity, always chasing growth, success, and significance.
In recent years, however, I’ve crafted a radical, new definition of success – radical for me, at least.
I used to wake up with a numerical target in mind, specific goals of new business, a number of a particular type of clients, or dollar amounts.
Numbers aren’t evil or wrong, but they aren’t the only things that are important.
Now, I see true success as a wonderful blend of peace and purpose. I’m learning that true success and peace of mind come from thinking deeply about – and finding the answers to – the questions that matter most.
For me, finding my answers to the following six questions as made all the difference:
WHAT IS MY SOURCE OF SECURITY AND SIGNIFICANCE?
WHAT MATTERS TO ME MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE?
WHAT ARE MY HIGHEST HOPES AND DEEPEST FEARS?
WHO AM I? WHO DO I WANT TO BECOME?
WHOSE AM I? TO WHOM DO I BELONG?
WHAT CHANGES NEED TO TAKE PLACE SO THAT MY LIFE REALLY COUNTS?
Many people are like I was for so many years: they’re so focused on reaching financial and organizational goals they never even stop to ask the big questions. And nobody around them is asking, either.
Everyone is laser-focused on the next rung up the ladder, the next big purchase, the next lavish vacation, or the next milestone that promises security and significance.
I wish I had stopped earlier to ask the big questions. I would have still had high goals, but I would have put them in a far bigger, broader, richer context of meaning and purpose.
I would have enjoyed giving, supporting, and encouraging others earlier in my career.
But I’ve also realized it’s never too late to ask the right questions, uncover the right answers, and change the course of a life.
In the coming weeks, my team and I will be introducing a six-part video series on ‘Living a More Successful and Meaningful Life’, where we will unpack each question I mentioned above.
I’m going to be making this series available to you because I’m convinced that finding the answers to these six questions is essential to your overall success and sanity as a busy professional.
We want you to be the first to know when this series launches! Leave us your name and email in the space to the right of this screen, and – along with keeping you up-to-date on the video series – we will send you the first chapter of Success & Sanity as a gift.
This road is much easier to walk when you’re not alone, so let’s do this together!