- The Vision Question: What Is My Definition of Success?
Our definition of success is often flawed by our past desires. Our definition of success isn’t always our own but has been shaped by external influences, like our gender, race, nationality, or chosen industry.
We need to create an internal definition of success with clearly defined goals. We have to be careful that our goals don’t come at the cost of our personal life and relationships. One way to ensure we have a holistic, thoughtful definition of success is to move from success being a what to a who we are becoming.
- The Self-Awareness Question: What Is It Like to Be on the Other Side of Me?
Most of us lack self-awareness. The more certain you are that you are self-aware, the more likely it is you aren’t. We create narratives around our own lives, casting us as the heroes and others as villains. Be mindful of the story you are telling yourself.
True self-awareness has two components: the internal (knowing our strengths and shortcomings) and external (knowing how we impact others). We need to invite someone in to verify what we think it’s like to be on the other side of us.
- The Self-Improvement Question: How Can I Get Better?
Believing you need to be the GOAT of life is harmful to real self-development. Move your metric for success from chasing wins to constant self-improvement. To improve, make sure that complacency, ego, comparison, offense, and your highs and lows don’t derail you. Involve trusted advisors in your journey to get better.
- The Team Player Question: What Credit Can I Give Away?
Being “self-made” is a myth; everyone had help getting where they are today, no matter what we want to believe about ourselves. People have a hard time giving credit away and tend to take more credit than they deserve. Err on the side of generosity when it comes to giving away credit. The biggest cost of giving away credit is pride. Make a practice of giving credit, praise, and gratitude.
- The Humility Question: What Mistakes Can I Own?
In every conflict or altercation we have been involved in, we are the common thread. The four words that could change the world are “I could be wrong.” Be slow to take credit and quick to apologize.
- The Potential Question: What Risk Do I Need to Take?
The world has and will continue to change. Will we? We can’t go to the next level in our professional or personal life without taking some sort of risk. To embrace risk, we also have to be willing to chase failure, whether that means becoming a student of the future or not being afraid to look dumb. There could be someone in your life whom you need to take a chance on.
- The Assist Question: Whose Dream Do I Need to Support?
Behind every GOAT is someone who seriously supported that person’s dream. We owe it to our loved ones to become their dream detectives. Support people with your influence. Support people by exposing them to new opportunities. Support people with your time.
- The Integrity Question: What Is the Right Thing to Do?
The people around us can tell when we lie, even if they can’t prove it. Lying impacts our integrity, even when we think we’ve gotten away with it. Let your good intentions guide you; sometimes you won’t get it right, but acting with pure intent matters.
What’s right should be based on more than just what’s right for you or what’s right financially. Sometimes the answer to “What’s right?” is multiple choice. Transparency always creates accountability.
- The Schedule Question: How Am I Managing My Time?
We have no way of achieving our goals if we don’t manage our time. If you don’t value your time, other people definitely won’t. Audit your calendar to find opportunities to trim time and to determine what you need to make time for.
Put a date on your calendar that you’re looking forward to. Schedule shorter meetings. Do your most important or dreaded tasks from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Say no to the extra stuff. Actively schedule your goals on your calendar.
- The Rest Question: Do I Have to Do It All?
We are all expected to be Renaissance humans—doing it all flawlessly in all aspects of our lives all the time. That expectation is reinforced by external and internal guilt, judgment, and shame.
We need to learn that the world keeps moving without us—that we can drop a ball and it will all be okay. Figure out how to set boundaries around your time and when you need to switch into No Service mode.
- The Fun Question: Am I Enjoying It?
Too often we let other people define happiness for us. A happy life has three scientifically proven components: the pleasant life, the good life, and the meaningful life. Enjoy the good things you have now, from your nice sneakers to the season you are in. Life is difficult. Enjoy it anyway. People are difficult. Enjoy them anyway.
- The Transparency Question: Who Knows Who I Really Am?
Who we are becomes lost in the expectations people have of us. Own your average. Remain curious and ask questions. Be someone else’s safe space. Not everyone has to know—but somebody does.