If you listen to a lot of self-development, self-help gurus out there, they will tell you that the following question is the most important to consider:
What do you want?
They will tell you that where most people fall down is failing to define clearly what they want, especially with respect to their goal or destination. They will tell you desire is key and that you must have a deep and committed desire to make your wants a reality. They counsel that this desire will fuel you to break through obstacles and enable you to stop at nothing until you succeed. They celebrate sheer will.
To me, the real question for you to ask yourself is:
How can I serve?
Who can I help? Where can I help? What do I have to offer the world? Who needs what I have? How can I make a contribution? Where can I make a difference? What can I do to make an impact? What talents do I have to use? What is it that is uniquely mine to do?
A totally different approach.
Where the two strategies converge is here: they both start with you. But the first approach is based on wanting to get, while the second is based on wanting to give, offer, enrich or improve.
In my client work, I have found that those who begin with the second series of questions are ultimately more successful. Why? Because they link their wants and desires to their big WHY; -- what it is that matters to them, what they care about deeply -- and it is this devotion to something bigger than themselves that is the fuel that propels them to success.
Both groups make money. Potentially A LOT of money. I am not suggesting some Pollyanna view of the world that implies you or anyone else should focus on “doing good” at the expense of earning good money. You can do both.
What I am suggesting is that when you focus your efforts on wanting to do something aligned with your deepest beliefs, i.e. those things that matter to you, and focus on how you can give, improve, care, innovate, or create, you will increase your chances of success. Why? Because you will be contributing to something larger than you. And, that, my friends, that “larger than you-ness” will pull you inexorably forward to a place where there is no turning back. In that place, you will find success...success that is defined by you.