When I’m working with a client, one of the most challenging moments in our work together can come when I pose a simple, four syllable, four word question: “What do you want?” Whether a client has suffered a hardship or a loss, a change in health, relationship or a job, we are working together to help them make new choices and move forward in a new and positive direction.
The Question, in any context, can help a client to sort through the options and set a new direction. But, that doesn’t mean the sorting through the options and setting of a new direction is always easy. I know from personal experience how The Question has been one of the most difficult to answer at times, especially when I’ve been in the midst of a long and unclear life transition.
I’ve found The Question to be downright annoying, as it sounds so simple and straight forward, and should be easy to answer. The truth is, The Question is anything but simple and isn’t always easy to answer. It cuts to the heart of what we want from life.
“Do I want to stay in a job I hate just because it pays well?” “Do I want to remain in a relationship that is no longer working for me?” “Am I willing to make the difficult food or exercise choices I need to, to improve my health and overall fitness?”
Sometimes, the answers are part of a longer process and can take time to come by. Sometimes, a client’s truth, the truth they know only for themselves, can take work to uncover. Much of that work together takes the form of asking, and answering, clarifying questions. And, of those clarifying questions, one of the most effective continues to be: “What do you want?”
These days, you’ll most likely find me sitting along the long edges or quiet corners of a local cafe or coffee shop. Laptop open, I’ll be writing a new chapter for my book or a short blog for any interested readers. Sporting a t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops, I deeply appreciate every day I don’t have to “suit up” and hit the road. Life beyond the office, beyond the demand of the corporation, working with new words and clients, is truly sweet. I’m having more fun than ever!