Last night, on my Emerging Leaders call, we were talking about career mapping and creating a presence, all of which requires some intentional forward thinking. I discussed what it’s like if we don’t engage in forward thinking or anticipation. I likened it to getting in the car and arbitrarily asking the GPS to take us some place better—not providing it with an exact location—just hoping the GPS can find someplace better then where we are now. It doesn’t really work that way, does it?

All of this reminds me of being in Mrs. Connolly’s 5th grade English class. She would always implore us, “You must know who, what, when, where, and why before you begin writing.” She had an incredibly valid point and I believe the same is true for us as we try to move forward in life, regardless of whether this is a career move or a life move. The who is simple, it’s you and me. Now we are left with what, when, where, and why. Simon Sinek loves the why, but the what, when, and where need to be answered as well. And then, as Mrs. Connolly would say, “You have the whole story!”

Currently, I know of no GPS that is programmed to take us to “some place better.” And no story, no matter how advanced our society becomes, will be successful without who, what, when, where, and why. Take a moment to think about either a career or life change you really want. Imagine you’re writing a story (because you are), and answer all five W’s: who, what, when, where, and why. Hoping for some place better won’t work. Today, we are going to begin to design our first draft of this amazing story! And, guess what? You can write absolutely anything you want! You get to write your own story! So let’s get cracking!

With Gratitude,


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