Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least. |

Courage to Choose the Most Important Things

Dusty Staub Courage to Act

Powerful Questions that Just Might Change Your Life.

Power Question #2: How to prioritize your life around the Most Important Things

Last week, I introduced the first of four power questions. Here is a second power question that can transform your life:

“What is the ONE thing that is missing that, if added, would make the biggest positive difference in my life / relationship / work /organization?”

The courage to choose the most important things in life |

When you have the courage to both ask and then to answer this powerful question, as asked in this particularly way – “What is the ONE thing…missing?”– then you will not have to deal with a laundry list of all the other answers your mind can come up with.

Instead, you will benefit from a life changing laser-like focus to help you discover the single most important thing – the action, resource, quality – that would make the biggest positive impact once added to the foundation of what is already working for you.

Choosing to identify the most important things is powerful.

Imagine shining thousands of flashlights on a door.  You would see the door in great clarity and it might even get a bit warm from all of the light.  However, if you take a powerful laser (light amplification by simulated emission of radiation), and turn it on the door, it can punch a hole right through it.

Knowing the one most important thing missing gives your mind a laser-like focus that can allow you to clear a path through a confusing web of possibilities toward a clear next step.

The courage to focus on the most important things in life |

Celebrate What You Have While Choosing to Go After What You Want

Marrying this second power question (choosing the most important thing) to the first power question (the courage to see the good) is powerful. Magical, even!  Let me share an example from my own life.

For more than twenty years, I longed to have some land: 20 to 30 acres, and a large house, something like a big converted barn.  I had been raised as an army brat, part of a rolling stone of a family. I attended ten different schools during the first ten years of my schooling.

We were constantly moving and other than one year of our stay in Great Britain, we lived in houses on quarter to half-acre lots.  I wanted a place to truly call home, some land where I could raise a family and a place where I could finally put down roots.  However, I began to despair that I would ever find the right plot of land to settle on because I was actually looking for many things in one package.

I didn’t just want acreage.  I also wanted it to be close to the private school that our two oldest children attended, near to my place of employment and to the airport.  I wanted there to be a small lake or stream on the property and for the house to have visual privacy from neighbors.  The list went on.

Then I remembered my mentor Dr. James Farr’s advice.

The courage to choose the most important things in life |

I remembered the power of one well-aimed question.

So I asked myself, “What is the single most important thing that has been missing in all of the properties I have looked at?

The most important thing was actually quite obvious when I brought the laser-like focus of this power question to bear on my longing for a place that I could call truly call “home.”  The most important “missing” factor was a rolling, varied landscape!

When the insight from this question was added to the top two things to celebrate in my life, namely the quality of relationship in my marriage and the loving connection with my children, I felt empowered. It brought a broader perspective. My wife and I could make a longer drive to get the children to school as well as both of us to work by leveraging the connectivity and quality of our relationship in the process.

We found the exact piece of land shortly after this revelation, a tract of 32 acres of rolling land with fields as well as mature hardwood and pine forests.  Strangely enough, there was a great barn of a house – a post-and-beam building – sitting there, waiting for us.

This has been our homestead for 20 years, a sanctuary where our three children have lived, played and grown up, and which regularly supports community and wisdom-sharing events as well.   Building on the quality of my most intimate relationships, then focusing on my desire to live on land with a diverse topography, I was led for the first time in my life to a place of which I can say, “This is my home.”

You will bring a powerful perspective to bear when you stop to ask,

What is the ONE Most Important Thing?

The courage to choose the most important things in life |

What is the ONE thing that is missing, or that would make the single greatest difference in…my life, this situation, this relationship my team, my work, or this organization?” 

Allow yourself the clarity of discovering what is most critical, necessary and essential to whatever dimension of your life you wish to develop or expand.

Go ahead, take the time right now to courageously ask this powerful question about one or more aspects of your life, whether it be: personal, family, spiritual, work/vocation or community related.  Winnow through all answers and bring to the forefront the ONE thing that would make the biggest positive difference.

Then give yourself permission to let the creative powers of your mind and the greater powers of divine imagination go to work toward manifesting it.  In fact, you may find the answer has been right there in front of you all the time.  You just needed to find the courage to ask the question and get a clear answer in order to see it.

Prioritize your life around the Most Important Things

In my work as a therapist, executive coach and organizational consultant, the courageous question “What is the ONE most important thing that is missing?” has uncovered critical information and provided the focus for creating superior outcomes.  I invite you to make conscious use of this potent tool to help generate more powerful results in your life.

And remember, you increase the power of this process when you marry it to the first power question, “What are the top one or two things to celebrate here?”  This allows you to leverage your strengths and blessings to help you bring in the missing piece.

Ready for Power Questions #3 and #4?

Click here for 2 questions that will help illuminate the truth of even the most challenging situations.

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