I opened the door and heard the chorus of the wait staff welcoming me into their coffee shop in sing-song unison. I had the contents of my “mobile office” with me in my shoulder bag, and looking for a public place to get a coffee and some work done. Yes, I had planned out everything. My to-do list, my choice of music to listen to, and the time of day I was going. I was prepared, until the girl behind the counter asked me,
“What would you like?"
The simple question stumped me for a moment. I haven’t been to this particular coffee shop in a while, and had to read over its menu.
Hmm, what do I want? The girl-behind-the-counter noticed my decision paralysis and kindly guided me through the process.
Hot or cold? Um, hot. Because it’s cold outside. Caffeine? Yes or now? Yes, please! Extra requests? No dairy, thanks.
With these parameters, I ordered a Raspberry Mocha with Soy, a perfect pairing to my coffee-house agenda.
This is a common example of the kind of decisions we make every day.
Some are small, like what to order at a coffee shop, and others are big, like what to do with your life. No matter what the decision is, a simple, but powerful question to start with is:
What do you want?
Really, what do you want?
If this question seems too simple, then try some of these:
What do you find delight in? What kind of impact would you like to make? What’s the legacy you want to leave?
Too big? Okay, then ask yourself: How do I like to spend an ideal day?
What’s for breakfast? Who am I spending time with? Where am I getting energy from?
Take the time to really explore these questions. Pull out a journal and jot down some ideas. These could be small or big. Either way, the act of writing the ideas down and saying them aloud is powerful. Once you create a big, clear image of what you ultimately want, it will be easier to make the little decisions to help get you there.
As a coach, these kinds of questions are the starting point of progress. We help to create compelling, visionary images to inspire us to take action. When we know what we want, it’s only a matter of committing to a series of decisions to get us there.
It reminds me of this quote:
“Until you decide whether you’re on your way to LA or New York, each intersection is a stressful decision"
In other words, decisions are easier to make when we have a clear, motivating end in mind.
Clarity & Coffee,
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