No matter our position, we need to feel clear about what comes next.
Our pathways are likely broken down into a few short options, but there are many combinations within each.
Do we continue as planned? Say yes to the job, deliver, rinse & repeat. Don't break the system; the system is working.
Do we sell something old? Book a tour, re-launch a product or service, go speak, perform, and find a new audience for something that already exists. It worked in the past; it can work better now.
Or, do we make something new? Start from the beginning, design for the audience, the experience we want to bring to them, the value we'll exchange, make something to scratch our itch, their itch, or both. Do it because we have something fresh to offer or because our soul says we must. It's time for a new chapter.
In any direction, we have to juggle our resources; time, energy, money, emotional capacity, and perhaps our collaborators' resources. But mostly, we have to find just the right combination of actions to make it work.
In this position, getting lost in the weeds is effortless; continuing as planned is likely the easiest and safest option, but is it the best choice?
Continuing as planned for too long bears a hidden cost; a cost of stagnation, a cost of unseen problems, a price to ourselves even.
As a child, I vividly remember the power of a list. My mum and I would write a list of everything we wanted in our next house. Each time, we got what we asked for and nothing more. Our first list was something along the lines of "two bedrooms, kitchen, lounge and backyard". The bedrooms were tiny, the backyard shared, the house dark.
Our following list was different. "Two good sized bedrooms with natural light, a private backyard with enough space to play cricket, an inviting lounge room with fireplace and an updated kitchen with room for a table." We got what we asked for and nothing more.
In our life and work, specifics make a difference. Not because the universe will magic up our list, but because we know what we're looking for, what's important to us and what is not.
How will we know it's essential to us if it's not on the list?
Before continuing in any direction, it pays to know what you're seeking at the end of the next road, with every detail you can see.
You might just get what you ask for.