Asking and answering three basic questions can help you find your own way. The questions are as basic as waking up and making your bed every day. Not answering them will keep you in the herd, and if you read this blog that’s not where you want to be.
1. Where are you from? This helps define perspective. Perspective or how you see the world in your own way makes you unique. It’s your story. Its where all things flow from.
The world is like a Mardi Gras parade. And Mardi Gras happened to be born in my hometown of Mobile, Alabama. You either stand on the sidelines with the crowd and yell or you jump over the barricade and become part of the parade. It may be on a float, the band or the police, but people who go their own way want to be in the parade not watching it.
2. What do you believe? This helps build the right relationships. The right relationships always leads to greater opportunity. Just try launching a business or starting a project with someone who doesn’t believe the same things you do. It will end bad.
Belief is hard — especially early in life and especially today. Some people don’t know what to believe or how to develop their own beliefs. So they read newspapers or watch television shows and mimic what they see and hear. Charles Tremendous Jones said it best. He said you will be the same person you are five years from now except for two things – the books you read and the people you meet. Start reading books. Start meeting people. Who is Charles Jones. It doesn’t matter. His middle name is Tremendous because he went his own way. Read, meet, decide what you want to believe. Repeat.
3. What matters to you? This helps make sure you hit the mark. And lets others know how to hit the mark for you.
Self-reliance matters. I heard a guy once say, “I have done so much, with so little, for so long that I am now qualified to do anything with nothing.” He wasn’t a teacher, a social worker or even a miracle worker. He was a prison guard supervisor. W.E. Deming said something like don’t remodel your own prison, figure a way to get out of it. To do that you must know what matters to you first, so that you can go your own way.