Do you want what you need?

Now... where did we want to go again? (picture copyright: Brooklyn Museum)

I have written a lot about how you can understand and use your networks to get what you want and where you want. But in my coaching practice I experience that the difficult question often isn’t “How do I get there?” but: “What do I want?” or, more precisely: “Do I want what I need?”

The things we want are those we have consciously set our eyes on: “I want to start my own business baking cup-cakes!”, “I want to earn a million dollars!”, “I want to become a lawyer, photographer, mother of three!”

Sometimes people come to me, because they want me to help them get there. When we talk about “where exactly…”, they might tell me a specific location, a specific goal, a solution. But while we explore what “photographer” or “millionaire” actually would mean for them, we have to take one step back and look at: “What do you need? What are your desires? What would your good days look like and feel like, if you fulfilled these needs and desires?”

If you go down to the basements and look at these inner needs and desires you might come up with things like: “I want to work with beautiful things.”, “I want to be independent.”, “I want to make a difference in the world.”, “I like working on a lot of different tasks at a time.”, “I enjoy working focussed on solving one task without anyone interrupting me for hours.”, “I thrive under pressure.”, “I would love to have a mentor.”, “I do (or don’t) enjoy work where I interact a lot with others.”, “I want to have a good amount of free time to spend with my family.” etc.

There are two reasons why I recommend to look at these needs first:
1. Once you know what you need you can check whether the goal you have set (become a gold digger, orange grower, yoga instructor) will actually fulfill these needs or whether it’s just something that sounds good or looks tantalizing from the outside. The best way of finding this out is to talk with people who do what you want and ask them whether their occupation fulfills at least some of those needs you have identified.
2. Very often people hold the strong conviction that only this one career will make them happy and if they don’t make it, their life will be a failure and they are destined for unhappiness ever after. By looking at what you need (instead of just focusing on this one goal) you can figure out which other life paths there might be that would fulfill these needs and make you happy.

After we have looked at your needs together and you have done your homework (do research about the different options, talk to people who seem to live your dream life etc.) we can sit down and draw a road map (Net-Map): Who can help you get there?

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