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I sometimes find myself making a decision to do or buy something before I’ve asked some questions about my purchase.  After I’ve bought it and brought it home, I find that it really doesn’t fill a need or even a want I have.  It’s too late to return it and I’m stuck with more junk that I didn’t want in the first place.

Does that sound familiar to you?  I think we often do things and don’t ask what purpose it serves.  Sometimes it’s a commitment and sometimes its just more stuff to clutter our lives.

What do you want to live in?

If you’re buying a house, the question shouldn’t be do I want to own it, but what do I want to live in. Does the house you’re considering fill your needs?  Does it help promote what you think is important in your life?

This could the same for clothes you buy, computers you own, cars you drive….well, you get the idea. We all buy stuff. The question is whether the stuff serves you and helps you feel comfortable and happy.  If it makes you nervous, you have bought the wrong thing. Ask yourself the following question, “Do I want to live or with whatever I’m considering?”

How does this serve me?

I’m betting that you’ve bought several things over your life that after you’ve owned them for a very short period of time haven’t served you well.  You probably never even asked the question, “Will this serve me?” I think it’s a core question that we should all answer every time we’re thinking about acquiring something new.

Does this help me make my life better?

For me this is the big question.  If something doesn’t make your life better, why would you own it?  If you think it would make your life better, then ask yourself how? If you can’t come up with a good answer, it might be time to pass or at the very least delay.

We all have too much junk in our lives.  Junk doesn’t have to be stuff.  Sometimes it’s relationship as well.  I hear and read regularly that no one has any time.  You and I both feel pressed for time.  If that’s true, shouldn’t we be a little more thoughtful about who we spend time with?

Will it help me with my life’s mission?

This is assuming you have a life mission.  If you don’t, you might want to spend some time developing one.

A mission is a short sentence that allows you to know whether you’re on or off track. My own mission is to do interesting things with interesting people.

When I figure out whether my purchase or decision moves me forward on my life mission I might pause for a while to think about it.  Sometimes it doesn’t and it’s something I’ll just enjoy.  And, there’s something to be said for doing things that you enjoy with no real reason behind it.  Just don’t do it mindlessly.  Make it a conscious decision.

You probably don’t answer why either.

Once you get your first question answered about the stuff and things to do, then ask why. It might be just because it’ll be fun. It might be it fits in with my life mission. It might even be, “I don’t know.” If it’s I don’t know, take a step back and answer why.  That will help you keep from developing buyer’s remorse.

Are you willing to slow down your impulsiveness?  If you are, I bet you’re going to be happier with the decisions you do make. What do you think?

We have a workbook to help you move some of the transitions in your life.  It’s called the When in Transition Workbook. This workbook will help you figure out steps you should take as you move through a major transition in your life. If there ever is a time to slow down it’s when life is changing.  To get your copy of this workbook, click on the button below.

When in transition work book

Topics: value creation, wealth management, asking why

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