10 Questions That Give Vitality to Beginnings
Painful endings and uncertain beginnings are the two moments you make the most difference in a leader’s life.
10 Dangers in every new beginning:
- Confusing and obscure pictures of success.
- Listening to counsel from people who don’t first ask, “What’s your vision?” Everyone who offers advice without clarifying vision has their own agenda, not yours, in mind.
- Choosing a course rooted in what others want from you rather than what you want from yourself.
- Reacting against the past rather than reaching toward the future.
- Decisions based on inaccurate information or faulty opinions.
- Moving forward alone; neglecting allies. If you wait until you need a relationship to build it, it’s too late. (Inspired by Steve Keating, Selling Skills Manager for Toro)
- Glorifying giant steps and minimizing mundane progress.
- No following through.
- Emotionally dipping after exciting first steps. Getting there is harder than you think, if it isn’t, you aimed too low.
- Failing to adapt as you go. People always get stuck when they fail to adapt.
10 Questions for beginning well:
- Why does this matter? Listen for positive motivations base in personal values.
- What personal values drive you forward?
- Are you reacting against or reaching forward? Reacting seldom takes you where you want to go.
- What does success look like? The first step toward success is defining it. Clarity instills confidence. Those who resist clarity aren’t prepared to move forward.
- What have you assumed to be true that might be false? Challenge assumptions.
- What’s next?
- Have you followed through?
- What is frustrating and/or fulfilling?
- Are you becoming who you want to be?
- How can I help?
What dangers do you see in new beginnings?
What questions would you ask to help others begin well?
Want more? Here’s how to help people end well. “When to Make the Most Difference”
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I love this post. I’m in middle of creating a new start for myself. I don’t want to jump in almost completly blindly like I did multiple times in the past (reacting to an uncomfortable situation). This process will help, I’m sure.
Best wishes in your new beginning!
Telling others you’re starting new is another important component of beginning well.
By telling others, Dan is making you accountable Jasmine, watch out! Course you already did by posting here. 😉
Hey Dan, great follow up post,
Dangers- as you know there are dangers in going to the corner store! The illusion we get caught with is there are more or greater dangers in new beginnings. WRONG. The real dangers are in not having an end ( proper closure) and in not starting again – though I think they are strongly connected – if we don’t have proper and full closure the new beginning is ‘false’ and therefor fraught with danger.
Thanks for keeping me ‘sparky’ Richard
Good Morning Richard,
“the real dangers are in not having an end” … Powerful!
A life without endings is filled with meaningless clutter.
Wishing you a great week, Sparky!
Croadie says ‘no resting on laurels’…wherever our laurels are!
Or who they are…
Wonderful. I’m in love with your 9s this morning.
First #9. “Getting there is harder than you think. If not you aimed too low.” So true. There WILL be frustrations. You’ve got to really want it to soldier on through the challenging moments.
Second #9. “Are you becoming who you want to be?” That is the essence of life. The challenges, detours, and work are all worth it, IF it sends us along the path of whom we want to become.
Thanks for helping me reflect on significant thoughts as I begin my day.
Reading your comment makes wish I’d plan the 9’s thing. 🙂
I keep asking myself, who am I becoming? It helps me evaluate my behaviors and keeps me moving toward a destination I can be proud of. It seems better than leaving it all to chance.
Your comment encourages me.
I am continuously amazed that upon waking and when I go to my computer, sit down with a cup of coffee and open up the latest entry only to find that most often the content is directly related to a current life event. My spouse is looking at a new beginning and I have sent him this post. I have also read it aloud – I believe we are talking about the ultimate definition of integrity. All of the 10 considerations must come from deep within. How many of us are “too scared” to look deep within for “fear” of what we may find.
How can we shed the notion that we must accept ourselves as we are, while attempting to grow personally and while being a role model to those who matter most in our lives?
Our past does not dictate our actions or life, rather it is our thoughts about the past that influence our present actions. I read an article about “perceptual language” and I have learned that thinking in this new way is an actual life altering experience where we truly release ourselves from our view as “victims” of circumstance.
I will carry on today and continue to look from within to see what truly drives me. The external forces are much easier to identify than the internal forces. Why can this exercise be so difficult and powerful at the same time
Blessings to all for a wonderful day. I hope that you can stop for a moment and identity at least one thing that you are truly grateful for.
Ask one other person that you encounter today – spouse, child co-worker, client etc to identify at least one thing that they are truly grateful for – ( you will likely get at least 3 answers ) following a long pause. In contrast, identifying things that bother or irritate us come in droves and multiple lists.
Have a great and thankful day
Thanks for joining today’s conversation.
I love your true and powerful statement: “Our past does not dictate our actions or life, rather it is our thoughts about the past that influence our present actions.” Brilliant.
On the same note, they say that time heals all wounds. But, it’s really how we respond to wounds that determines if we heal. Sometimes time makes wounds worse, bitterness for example.
Thanks for the encouragement to show gratitude. It’s beautiful how giving gratitude makes our own lives richer.
You have my best for your journey,
I am new to following Leadership Freak and learning a lot. Thank you for your concise, thoughtful posts! The only thing I would add here as a danger to new beginnings would be idealizing the past… the false belief that you could cut&paste past success into the future… I know I want to beware of that as we move into a new stage…
Thanks for adding value.
The danger of a successful past is trying to repeat it. I think we can repeat some of the methods that achieved successes in the past, hard work for example. But recreating a past success is actually a backward facing activity.
Thanks for sharing some food for thought,
Thanks for the insightful posts. I am starting a new venture and still recovering from a horrendous past 5 years. One comment I can add is “Choose your partners very carefully”. My partner who was also a house friend did me in for a large sum of money and as a result I lost everything. The other thing is if you ‘smell a rat’ there is probably a whole nest of rats already, follow your heart and your gut, confront issues early.
Hi Dan, I just got a new and very difficult assignment – so this post is timely. Helps to “clarify” my side in order to “clarify” the path we take.
Reblogged this on The Writ of Cotton and commented:
Read this great post today and saw many things in it that are important for Thinkers. Expect a new post from me coming this Thursday! As always, think…MORE!
Re: #4 danger/ #3 beginning well–reacting/reaching.
Planning for chaos is somewhat like planned spontaneity.—sounds like an oxymoron. Or at least at the extreme opposite ends of the spectrum. Yet, part of the journey is learning from past reactions and planning for a potential 3% chaos factor to challenge your assumed path. You won’t put all your time and energy into ways to minimize the impact of that potential 3%, but can learn from past 3% events.
As you reach/drive forward, it does behoove you to glance in the rear view mirror once in a while.
Thank you. Just what I needed now . I am also like Jasmine at a new beginning and needed to clear my thought right now, To me the # 6 “What’s next?”and # 9 “Are you becoming who you want to be?” was very useful. A coincidence ? 🙂
At some point you have to plan for follow up. I have worked at several companies that were great at launching new initiatives. At some point after the big kickoff meeting there needs to be follow up mechanisms put in place that will greatly increase the chances that the project will stay on track. People are great at starting diets, but there has to be some kind of weekly follow up to ensure that you are going to be successful. Follow up is where we tend to fail.
Points suggested are excellent ones. When decision is based on inaccurate information, it may not lead to where you want to go.I also think, people learn most of the things from mistakes and experience. When someone starts career, he or she may not have all the details needed. Even if someone guides us, we tend to un-believe unless we experience and see it. Making mistakes is something human is prone to. But repeating mistake is something to thing upon. However, in new beginnings, one has to have strong will, great curiosity and unbending passion to surge ahead in life. Initially, one may not have clear picture of success, but as he moves ahead, picture get clearer.
I appreciate and agree that people stuck when they fail to adapt. So, being flexible to adapt is key to survival. I would ask others how to begin well when you are employer of the company. One should always see, observe and evaluate the culture before making any suggestions or judgment about the company or people. The most import thing to remember is to see the path you follow. If this path leads you to your dream, do whatever to remain connected with the path. But if the path is uncertain and can not take you where you dream to go, then sooner or later, take decisions.
what’s next… what’s next for me is taking a step further into adult hood i am now 18 and feel its ready for college i want to further my education and get my degree in computer science. i am not prepared and ready for college and the experiences that come with it once i start my career and money starts to build my next next step will be even bigger then the first.