The Prime Decision
For all of us whether in business or in life there is one major question. It goes something like this. ‘What am I trying to achieve?’ it may take several different forms; ‘Where do I want to end up?’, ‘When this is completed and the job is done and done well, what will things look like, feel like, sound like?’.
The second of Steven Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is to ‘start with the end in mind’. The prime decision we must all make is what is the end we have in mind? What is the end for our day, for this month, for our business, for our life?
Clarity is power
In business every decision hangs off this prime decision; where do you want to end up? What are you trying to create? It is impossible to have clarity over any other decision unless we have clarity over that prime decision and as I have said many times in this blog clarity is power.
In Alice in Wonderland, there is a part where Alice comes to a fork in the road. Not knowing which fork to take she asks the Cheshire Cat, who replies with a question. “Where are you going?”. “I don’t rightly know” says Alice. “in that case” says the cat “it doesn’t much matter”. Next time you are driving your car and you come to a roundabout or a cross roads whether you choose to go left right or straight on will depend entirely on where you are trying to get to.
Business and life is about taking thousands of decisions every day. Those decisions can either lead you to your destination, or not. If you are unclear or uncertain about where that destination is, they can’t lead you there. If you don’t know where you are going, how are you ever going to get there?
No one can decide your destination for you. It has to be your decision but if you haven’t made that decision the chances are you will find yourself following someone else’s plan for you and they probably wont have anything great in mind for you.
Definite major purpose
Napoleon Hill talked about knowing and understanding your own ‘definite major purpose’ and Simon Sinek wrote a book much more recently called ‘Start with Why’. They both point to the same thing. Understanding what you and only you can uniquely bring to the world. If you think you can arrive at the right answer for you in twenty seconds you have probably missed it. Some people can spend almost an entire life looking for their definite major purpose. Some see it early and for some it may drift out of focus on occasion but in the absence of that metaphorical North Star the very real danger is that we drift and that is a terrible waste of the potential we were gifted at birth.
If we are not purposefully heading somewhere we are, by definition, going nowhere. If you feel stuck. If you feel frustrated. If you don’t feel that you are making adequate progress, before you do anything else ask yourself how clear are you on where you want to be? How clear are you on your own personal end in mind? If you are not crystal clear remember the words of the Cheshire Cat.