Need Direction? Forget Answers, Ask Better Questions

Business-DirectionMultiple times each day, I get calls, letters, or emails from people around the world who have read my books, watched my movies, heard me speak, or read my columns. I welcome these inquiries as I include my contact information in my books, speeches, and at the end of these weekly columns. Occasionally, one of my readers has a comment or a question that I feel applies to all of us, so I like to share the wealth.

Recently, a woman emailed me and said, “…Recently I was reading some of your quotes. ‘Take ownership of your life; you are where you are because of decisions you have made in the past.’ ‘You change your life when you change your mind.’ I have taken ownership in my past, but haven’t seen any difference in my life, just keep hitting walls. Do you have more insight on this?”

I believe these comments and questions echo the sentiments of many people around the world. I don’t have any simple answers to her dilemma.

I believe you should always beware of people who have simple answers to complex questions.

Although I don’t have the answers, I do have some questions that will help to frame the answer that all of us have inside our minds, hearts, and spirits. If you’re floundering without direction, or even if you’re satisfied but haven’t had a success checkup for a while, you may want to honestly ponder the following:

  • What do you want to have in your life that you don’t have now?
  • Why don’t you have it now?
  • What are you willing to give up to get it?
  • What resources do you have to move you toward your goal, including education, people, money, experience, etc.?
  • Have you reduced your goal to writing with a date on it and milestone tasks and deadlines?
  • Who or what is holding you accountable?
  • How are you going to feel if you do not pursue and ultimately achieve this goal?
  • I believe that we have all been created with a big goal or destiny inside. Satisfaction, happiness, and success come from pursuing this passion.

    Please notice I did not say that success comes from achieving, but—instead—pursuing.

    Recently, I read about a Scandinavian gentleman who undertook a seemingly impossible quest. He rode his bicycle across much of Europe and Asia, and then—without benefit of guides or any other climbers—he scaled Mount Everest, safely descended, and rode his bicycle all the way back to Northern Europe. His journey took well over a year to complete, and although he was wildly successful in achieving his goal, he only spent four minutes standing atop the highest mountain in the world.

    It is important to be certain we are undertaking the right journey. In order to confirm this, the answers to the questions above will provide more insight and create additional questions in the never ending search for who we are and where we should be going.

    As you go through your day today, answer the questions that will bring clarity to your quest.

    About Jim Stovall
    Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK 74145-9082, or by e-mail at

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