Many times when I sit down to write, it's because a story or a simple quote runs through my mind as a catalyst for a lesson. Today, I'm thinking of all the people who have blessed me as students over the last 32 years. I'm thinking of the dads and moms who have brought their children to my events. What a humbling experience that has been for me! This article is simple, but it is written for each of you who I have had the privilege of teaching and for those of you who I will someday teach.
What Do You Really Want?
Over the years, I have asked this compelling questions to thousands of leaders, from CEOs of Fortune 50 companies to entry line managers beginning their leadership journey. Why did I ask the question? Simple really. I don't want you to work your entire life and then find out you never actually focused on what you really wanted. I want you to find true happiness and contentment on your journey. It's OK to apply yourself to what you really want even if others don't understand your reasons. Do what truly brings you joy. So I ask again, "What do you really want?"
What Do You Truly Value?
Every time I have posed these questions to students at our Executive Leadership Conferences in Wildwood, you can instantly feel the giant pause in the room. When people think about what they truly value, it forces them to come face to face with the way they are actually living their life. Sometimes this creates an immediate conflict between the person they want to be and the person they have become. It's in these "Wildwood Moments" that my work has created the deepest meaning for my team and myself. We have witnessed true life-changing decisions right before our eyes, and to say that's fulfilling is an understatement. So I ask you, "What do you truly value?"
How Do You Want to Be Remembered?
This question is always an emotional one. It makes people evaluate the way others might think or say about them. At this moment, I always remind them to only care about the feelings and opinions of those people they genuinely respect: family, closest friends, and business associates you admire and respect. All too often, I have seen great people lose themselves while striving to be something they are not in order to try and please others, who at the end of the day, don't make the list just mentioned. Your behavior and actions should leave a lasting memory on others, painting a picture of you as you want to be remembered. So I ask, "How do you want to be remembered?"
What Is the Meaning of Your Life?
Now here is a simple question to pose. I love this question because it forces you to consider deeply your personal beliefs, your core values, your standards, and your dreams and goals. In Wildwood, we send everyone outside to find a quiet and peaceful place to reflect and think this question through. We ask them to define the meaning of their life. This has always been another thought-provoking question for all of our students to ponder and answer. I hope these questions made you stop and think.
It was thinking of you, my students, that made me stop and ask myself, "What are the most important questions I have ever asked my students? Which questions have been the catalysts for empowering change? Which questions have given so many the strength to step out of misdirected paths and leap enthusiastically on to pathways of genuine intention and purpose?" Today, because of you and for you, I humbly ask you these questions.
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Copyright 2017: Paul Cummings Enterprises.
About the author: For over 30 years, Paul Cummings has taught dynamic life changing strategies on sales, customer service, communication, building a better business, and leadership. Millions have had the opportunity to learn what it means to live and work at Level 10.