Navigating Life's Crossroads: Strategies for Designing Your Roadmap

February 26, 2024
Ahmadou DIALLO

Answering the Four Critical Questions that Lead to Success.

“The wise man doesn't give the right answers. He poses the right questions.”

Claude Levi-Strauss

I have many inspirations in life. I want to make it. There are so many options out there. 

If only I could be promoted. 

If only I could get paid more. 

If just life was not so hard on me?

Each time a successful person shares their journey, I see a new target to hit. I am like that kid in a store. I want every toy I see. 

I am exhausted. I am lost. I am not grounded. 

The world has been defined as VUCA: Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. Every day, there is a new way to be famous. Every day, there is a new way to make money. Every day, there are more options. 

I have lost my North Star. Until now. Instead of looking for answers, I have flipped the table. I am searching for more questions. 

Below are the four cardinal questions that have helped me find a way. The key secret is not in finding the correct answers.

Life is all about asking the right questions.

1. Where are you?

At home, 25° C outside, let's go somewhere outside the house.

The answer to that question is about your situation and your intentions.

You are lost. Worse is that you don’t even know that you are lost. The more you search, the more lost you are. 

You are frustrated. You scream your guts out: Help. You are only served with the silence treatment. 

Before trying to get anywhere, get to know where you are first. Sit down. Relax.

Look at where you are. Paint a vivid picture of your situation. Be as much specific as you can be.

Be present where you are right now. Be fully aware of your surroundings. 

Take five minutes and write down your intention: why you want to move from where you are.

Let me ask you again: Where are you? 

2. Where could you go?

A lot of lovely places.

The answer to that question is about meaningful exploration and your value proposition.

Life is a fractal. The closer you look, the more options there are. You spend much of your time and energy contemplating all the possibilities of life. 

You see many options. You want to try them all. You never really ask yourself what is in it for you. 

You jump from one option to another. Like in a Tinder app, you swipe left or right just because you can. 

Yes, there are an infinite number of options out there. Yet the ones that can fit you from where you are right now are minimal. 

Add weight to all the options that can bring you value right now to help you narrow the list to a solid Top 10. 

3. Where should you go?

The small park over there, with a lovely outside restaurant ... That's it!

The answer to that question is about your ability to get there.

Even when you have a handful of options, all those are possibilities. You can feel like you can do it all. You can waste a lot of energy trying to explore all those options one after the other.

You put in what you think is a great effort. You still have too many rabbits that you are trying to catch. 

You are diffusing your energy. You are wasting it. Full stop.

You need to move from many possible to one probable. You need to be confident about the value you bring to the table. You must be clear about your abilities and factor them into the best-associated outcomes.

Now you have narrowed that list to one and are a Master of it. 

Now, rise and go. 

4. Where you are going.

 Let's take this route; there is even a stopover.

You know where you should go. You have not thought about taking the first step. You beat around the bush. 

If only you had this or that, you would move forward.

You are procrastinating, waiting for a helping hand from the sky. You hope to get your Deus Ex Machina

Nope. Nobody is coming to do your reps for you.

Once you have a clear view of your destination, just go. Take one step. Ensure you have visualized the path with a rigid plan for getting there.

You can even write down three routes to your destination. Add some gamification by doing some path optimization. 

Final Thoughts

You have been raised to search for answers. You have been praised for providing answers. There is a pleasure, a dopamine hit on having those Eureka moments.

You spend much time, resources, and energy looking for answers. There will never be enough answers to keep you moving. More answers may just overwhelm you. You feel like you are stuck. 

You feel like the universe is conspiring against you. You are drowned in an ocean of never-ending streams from other people’s perspectives.

You will not get a clear vision by searching for the correct answers. You will get actionable answers by asking the right questions. 

I invite you and me to perform an audit about the reasons we are lost in translation. Here are four cardinal questions to guide you when you have lost sight of your North star:

1. Where are you?

2. Where could you go?

3. Where should you go?

4. Where you are going.

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