The Biggest Question You Will Ever Ask I have a problem — and I think it affects you. I have a problem with how you and I have been taught to go about setting goals. I’m talking about personal goals, business goals, life goals, whatever. For the most part, what we’ve been taught makes sense: Set big goals. Don’t be afraid. Make your goals clear. Picture them often. Think positively. Break the goals up into manageable objectives and tasks. Do the tasks.

follow url That’s about it.

Мозырь купить кокаин Read any book, watch any DVD, scan the blogs, go to goal-setting seminars, and with some variation on peripheral themes, these are the basics. Get the basics and you’ll achieve your goal, right? Well, it is true. This is how it’s done. But I don’t have a problem with that. I have a problem with the fact that something is missing; it’s something big that affects you in the worst possible ways. It’s not the goal-setting that bothers me. It’s not even the processes of achieving goals. It’s what comes before we set our goals. It’s the part no one talks about. And this is why I’m writing to you today.

We are taught to set our goals for the future from where we stand — where we are at this moment in our lives. We look toward the future to envision what we want to accomplish over a defined span of time: a week, a month, a few years or decades. (I won’t go on to eons because I’ll probably be somebody’s litter box by then.)

I believe that the current method is too limiting, and that in the end, it can bring a lot of pain. When goals are created in this way, one is set up to focus on the next step, then the next and the next. Here’s why that’s a problem: Imagine looking at your feet for your whole life, walking along a line you’ve painted on a big empty parking lot. Your mind is focused on the next step. One day you wake up and look around, only to find that the line you made got you to where you’d planned, but now it’s not where you want to be.

Oops…too late.

The solution is to change the way you think about goals. Throw away convention. Do not ask yourself what you want to do; ask what you want to have done. You see, see it’s not about improving the life you’re living, it’s about creating a life you want to have lived.

This new question I’ve created forces a change of intent.  It will change how you see your life, and how content you are at the end of it. I call it, “The Omega Question™”.

“At the conclusion of my life, what accomplishments do I want to have made, what attributes do I want to embody, and what assets do I want to have gathered?  All of this to determine who I want to become.”

In this way, you set your goals from the end, looking back toward where you are today. At the end of your life, what do YOU want to have done? What legacy do you want to leave? Who do you want to have been? How do you want to have lived? It is this shift of perspective that changes lives.

It changes lives from beginning…
…to end.

Here are some important definitions you’ll need before answering the question for yourself:

  • Accomplishments:  Education, challenges achieved, missions accomplished.  Significant consideration should be given to contributions to others, how you have affected people and differences you hope to have made – your legacy
  • Attributes:  “How” you are. Define the attributes you’d like to strengthen in your life. You might choose to be more peaceful, energetic, reflective, truthful,  more faithful, or more healthy.  These describe the kind of person you would ultimately like to become
  • Assets:  All things financial, property, insurances, tangibles

Most of us are trained to see our goals as asset-based. Please understand that assets in this context are not to be identified solely for the purpose of accumulating wealth. Your assets, no matter how grand your plans, should be used with a singular purpose: to help you achieve your other two goals.

I have a two-hour workshop that walks people through this question, resulting in each participant having created their own, very personal Omega response. It is my sincere hope that I’ve given you enough in this article so that you can begin to think of your own journey from its end, not from where you stand today.

Setting your goals from this perspective will help you to end up in the right place, not in the middle of a parking lot, asking, “how did I end up here?”. When you look back at your life, I want you to be content with who you are, whom you have affected, and how you have lived. You WILL leave a legacy. What would you like it to be?


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2 Responses to The Biggest Question You Will Ever Ask

  1. I’ve worked with Jeff’s Omega Question, and it is very powerful. “Begin with the end in mind” is good advice. Aligning your goals so that they connect to what you ultimately want to achieve in your life provides a beacon against which you can assess the appropriateness of your goals.

    • Jan, thank you. I just had a member of our community also quote Covey’s “begin with the end in mind” in refference to this article. I love Covey’s work, but we do differ in at least one perspective. It’s a small, but important one.

      Like most, Covey also teaches to see the future from this moment – to create what you want to accomplish in the future. My alternate perspective, as you well know, is that seeing backward over life offers a more clear and compelling perspective. Rather than looking forward to what one wants to do, I recommend seeing the future from its completion. What is important at the end of life is usually quite different from what seems to be important from where we are. Thank you again, Jan. It’s helped me to make one of the differences between Covey and myself more clear for our other readers.

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