How to Clarify What You Want (guest post by Michael Bungay Stanier)

Here’s an exercise to help get clear on what you want.
1. Find some time and space for yourself.
It doesn’t need to be much – five minutes in a room, ten minutes in a coffee shop, a 15 minute walk around the neighborhood.
2. Connect with your core values, those ways of being that are at the heart of you being at your best.
If you’re not quite sure what they are – and you’d be like most people if that’s the case – then start to imagine what they might be now. If you think back to “peak moments” in your life, times you felt you were on top of the world, then you’ll see some clues as to what they might be.
3. Get clear on the situation at hand.
You need context before you can decide on what you want. Is this about work? A relationship? Your own self-care? Something else? What’s the challenge or situation or struggle you might be facing?
4. Imagine outrageous success.
Go on, amp it up. Or to put it another way: If you could not fail, what would total and fabulous success look like? Don’t get caught up in the “how would I get there”. Just let your imagination go on what outrageous success looks like.
5. Clarify your minimum level of success.
This is the bottom line, the “if nothing else, then this at least.” Don’t sell yourself short. And equally, make sure the “bottom line” really is just that. This is where you draw the line in the sand.
6. Tap into your heart and find the sweet spot of what you want between those two end points.
Sit with it for just a moment and get as clear as possible as to what it is you want, what it looks like, feels like, tastes like. The clearer you can make it, the easier it will be to start planning on how to get there.
So… What do you want?
Michael Bungay Stanier is the founder and Senior Partner of Box of Crayons, a company that helps organizations do less Good Work and more Great Work. He is the author of Do More Great Work and Get Unstuck & Get Going, and the creator of The Great Work Movie, The 5.75 Questions You’ve Been Avoiding and The Eight Irresistible Principles of Fun. Michael was a Rhodes Scholar and the 2006 Canadian Coach of the Year. He is Australian and now lives in Canada.

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