Updated: Feb 3
The four questions outlined below help simplify the decision-making process, provide clarity, and create contentment in the present.
Whether it's you, your team, or your organization, when feeling stuck, indecisive, or unsatisfied, it can be helpful to revisit your why. These feelings usually stem from either forgetting your purpose or steering away from it as your guidepost in your day-to-day.
Contemplating on the following four questions can help create clarity
(pulled from Lewis Mehl-Madrona's Narrative Healing):
Who are you?
Where do you come from?
Why are you here?
Where are you going?
Neither of the questions above have a correct or incorrect answer — asking and reviewing our responses to them holistically ensures alignment in our understanding of past, present, and future.
The first question, who are you, is asking you to reflect on who you, or your organization, are in any terms appropriate to you. For example:
I am Ani Kazarian of The Holistic CEO, a coach dedicated to guiding professionals in developing the core principles that fuel professional success and personal fulfillment and maintaining alignment with their principles through their actions.
The second question, where do you come from, can be answered as literally or abstractly as makes sense to you. The important thing is that it has continuity with your answer to the first question. And if it doesn't, then this exercise is a great opportunity to recognize where the discord is. For example:
I come from a background of performance development and personal coaching.
The third question, why are you here, can be as vague or specific as appropriate to your understanding of yourself or your organization. For example:
To add to the life of the world while making use of my unique combination of experience and skills.
The fourth question, where are you going, helps you connect the past and present with your purpose to create a vision of the future that you can use to guide your next steps. My example here is:
Toward the continual unfoldment of my potential as an person and a professional. I am learning new skills, expanding my platform, and sharing my ideas in beneficial ways.
Your answers to these questions may vary at different times and in different contexts. Your main focus should be on ensuring that there is congruity across your understanding of who, what, why, and where. When our purpose is clear from its beginnings to its future, it's easier to align our actions and our overall approach with this purpose.
This alignment allows for clarity on next steps, simplifies decision-making, and creates a sense of contentment for where we are in this moment.
Mehl-Madrona explains these questions in the context of gaining insight into the causes of illness or disease in the physical body. In my experience, these existential questions apply to both individuals and organizations, and assist in developing the level of awareness necessary to create intentional change.