Wake Up Call


"Don't limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as you mind lets you. What you believe, you can achieve!" - Mary Kay Ash

In my daily role as an executive leader of a large organization I always like to challenge the people I’m working together with. Wetter they are direct reports, team members, fellow leaders, clients or friends; I like to fire questions at them to challenge them. Not only to give myself a better understanding of who they are, how they think and what’s driving them, more importantly; I’m asking them things so I can help them succeed!

As an executive coach, leader and friend I care about the people I’m spending a part of my life with and it’s in my nature to give them direction, because direction determines destination! I like to make sure that the right people are in the right place and are doing the right thing, so we can create win-wins with a high return on investment in each and every way. Again, I’m applying this to colleagues, friends, family and my clients.

Now I’ve learned from myself and from many people I’ve been dealing with, that a lot of people do not know what they want; they do not know their destination... Often this is being caused because a lack of self-direction or even a negative self-direction (no direction).

Positive self-direction includes:

I know who I am
I know what I’m capable of
I know what I want
I know when I want it
I know where I want to go to.

To become successful in each and every area of your life, self-direction forms the basis of success! Having primary goals, secondary goals and a clear destination are critical elements to live your life successfully and to get the best out of your life. However, a lot of people live their life on the automatic pilot; they go with the flow, just do their thing and enjoy life without having much self-direction.

"Most people live and die with their music still unplayed. They never dare to try!" - Mary Kay Ash

Most likely these people are not asking themselves this key question: “Are all the things I’m currently spending time and energy on taking me to where I want to go?” Often this means these people miss out on many things and unfortunately they will not get the best out of their life.....

To make sure you are on track and will get the best possible Return On Investment for the energy and time you invest in something, you should ask yourself these self-direction questions with almost everything you do! So just ask yourself: “Am I doing the right things that will take me in the direction I want to go?” These questions will help you determine your direction, and will help you to successfully arrive at your destination!

Wake-up Call

To give others a kind of wake-up call and stretch their thinking, I often raise questions like these:

When were you the happiest in your life?
What do you want the rest of your life to be about (the big picture)?
Where does work and career fit into your overall life?
Do you have a plan in place to achieve all the things you would like to do/achieve/experience before you’ll die?
If you could have any three things in your life right now, what would they be?
How do you tend to sabotage yourself?
What kind of legacy would you like to leave behind?
Is this the ideal direction you want for your life?
Is this your own direction or someone else’s direction?
Is this your own goal or someone else’s goal (set by friend/family/employer)?
These questions are thought provoking, will make you think twice and will often result in realising that your self-direction needs improvement!

Roadmap To Success

To improve your self-direction, start with asking yourself the questions as above. After you have answered these questions within yourself, you can write them down on paper. Then try to consolidate and stretch your own thinking even further by asking yourself:

What is it I really want and when do I want it?
What works for me and what does not?
In what area(s) do I want to improve myself?
What are my primary goals and my secondary goals for the next 3 months, the next 12 months, the next 2 years and the next 5 years, 10 years. etc.?
Again please write your answers down on paper, which makes it easier to structure things and debate it with yourself!
Then start dreaming and imagining where you want to go, what you want to do, how you want to feel and how your ideal life will look and feel like! Use all your answers, realisation, ambition and your improved self-direction to dream and imagine your ideal and happy life!
Once you’ve concluded you have the perfect self-direction and plan to succeed, put your new plan on paper; create a detailed roadmap with timelines and your goals as the milestones! Now that you know which direction you really want to go, take action by executing your plan! Success guaranteed!
To make sure you'll get the best Return on Investment out of most of the time and energy you'll invest in your actions, please ask yourself the following question before you decide to take a certain action or commit yourself to taking a future action: "Will this action have a positive impact on the goals and direction I have?". You can use this question for almost anything you do or are planning to do. I even use it to ask myself if it is worthwhile to spend time and energy to meet certain people or to maintain certain relationships. It helps me to FOCUS on my goals and self-direction, so I can succeed faster and better!
The 3 key questions to remember and use as of now:
“Are all the things I’m currently spending time and energy on taking me to where I want to go?”
“Am I doing the right things that will take me in the direction I want to go?”
"Will this action have a positive impact on the goals and direction I have?"

"Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me!" - Carol Burnett

Make this a Positive & Successful day....unless you have other plans!
Thanks, warm regards & success,

Patrick Driessen