It’s been a week!
And it seems this year has way too many of these weeks. Each new month brings new challenges. New fears. New concerns. New opportunities.
When the world seems out of control, there’s four questions to ask. I’ve had many discussions about the recent events of racism, justice, protests, and riots with my family and friends. How my kids are experiencing them and how they’re feeling. How we can be the change we want to be and how that change starts with four questions.
When you want to make any change in your life- a health goal, a career goal, a financial goal- you can ask the same four questions.
Do I care?
If you want to make any change in your life, the first question is do you care. I know some say start with your why. Lead with your purpose. Start with the end goal. It’s good advice, but the first question to ask is do I care. Do I care enough to lose the weight? Do I care enough to run the marathon? Do I care enough to get the degree to become a principal?
Same question applies to what you’re experiencing in the world today. Do I care? We tend to care more the closer it comes to our community. If your community has had a protest or if your community had a protest turn violent, you care more than those whose communities who haven’t.
Here’s the thing: do you care enough about an injustice when it doesn’t personally affect you? When it doesn’t directly affecting you but you still know something’s wrong, do you care?
Do I give?
If you care about a goal, what do you give in order to achieve the goal? If you’ve got a health goal, what do you give to achieve the goal? What time and money are you willing to give to walk, or run, or hit the gym to achieve the goal. If you have a career goal, what time and money do you give to get more education or learn more to achieve the goal?
With what you’re experiencing in your world today, do you give money and time to make your community better? To make your community more welcoming. More equitable. A place where all are is valued and have the same opportunities.
One question we ask when we see bad things in our world is what can I do? You can mentor someone. You can volunteer at a food distribution. You can help businesses clean up after violence damages their stores. Sometimes the situations seem so bad you feel paralyzed as to what you can do, but often the more challenging question is do I give. If I care about something, what I am giving to that something.
Do I quit?
With any change you want to make in your life, you will want to quit. You’ll get frustrated the goal isn’t happening as fast as you want. You’ll get down because the initial excitement from starting the change has worn off and now doesn’t feel as good. You were pumped the first week about going for a run but by week 4 you’re looking for excuses because getting the run isn’t new and exciting.
Same with change you want to see in your community. There will be resistance. There will be despair. There will be times when you don’t feel like. This question will likely be its own blog on how to push through desires to quit or what Seth Godin calls “the dip”. But what awaits you if you don’t quit is the change you want. The person you want to become. The better community you want to be part of.
Do I learn?
Real growth and change happens in your life if you’re open to learning what worked and what didn’t. Back to the health goal. You want to lose weight. You decide you care enough about to losing weight to run every day. You give time and energy to running every day. You push through times when you want to sleep in or you’re too tired or it’s too hot or too cold or too windy or whatever excuse you’re tempted to use. You give up your excuses and you run to lose weight. And it works! You’re losing weight.
It’s right here where you can ask what have I learned? Maybe you actually learned you don’t like to run. You learned you can achieve a similar health goal through a better diet. Or by walking each day. Or through meeting friends for a class at the gym. So you decide to ease up on the daily running. You add other exercises. You still run but less often. But once you push through the resistance that wants to knock you off the goal, you’re free to learn. To grow. To make changes that bring you closer to who you want to become.
What question are you asking yourself today?
What questions would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments.
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