“What’s next” is a complicated question. One that dances in and out of our lives daily. Its importance changes often. Making our answers transient, contextual, situational, and elusive.
Sometimes, something outside of ourselves dictates urgency and the need for focus. Making “what’s next” a simple question with only one answer. Reaction tends to be the dominant well-worn default path we take each day.
Discipline is needed to bend our answers to “what’s next” to conform to what we believe we need to get done. Intention is much more difficult than reaction. Priorities are difficult to discern but helpful in determining the value we could create by doing the next thing that can create the highest value based on our roadmap.
To begin to wrap our minds around “what’s next” we need to be specific about time. This week, month, year, or lifetime. Each will then filter our possibilities into buckets that then need further prioritization. Roles and responsibilities will influence our answers to “what’s next”. Our interests and beliefs in what might be possible will push us away or bring us closer to slowing down enough to consider the depth of the question “what’s next” before answering.
As the colors of the post notes above, we give different weights to different things on our possible to-do lists. Just as each of us has our favorite colors. Making “what’s next” a personal and subjective choice. Revealing to us that there is never a right answer to this question. Only an appropriate one based on who we are and everything in our lives we must consider. Biasing us in a certain direction because of who we are.
“What’s next” demands us to choose. For all of its heaviness, there is a youthful aspect to this question we miss. When we are younger, possibility infuses energy into this question of “what’s next”. Making it a question we look forward to answering often, and in different ways, when we are young.
As we age, the vibrance of this question loses its shine and dissipates by the well-worn routines we silently fall into and become trapped by. Making it imperative, to continually ask ourselves this question as we grow older, to remain more youthful in our spirit as we begin to battle our physical decline. Consciously choosing differently from our well-worn routines can inject discovery and surprise in some of our days that now seem so dull.
Discovery, possibility, and experiences can be huge benefits of the choices we make when answering the question of “what’s next”. Creating the “next thing” can bring with it feelings of accomplishment and building confidence. And confronting daily with enthusiasm this question of “what’s next” gives us a recurring opportunity to add to our lives new things while always balancing it against the roles and responsibilities we must carry.