Many professionals find themselves in reactive mode towards their life and career decisions. They find themselves waiting for their manager, their mentor, or someone around them to tell them what should be done. There is nothing wrong with that.

However, proactive approach in decision making will increase life satisfaction. So how can we start taking more proactive approach in life and career? How can we take the full ownership?

Andy Storch is an author and speaker that specializes in corporate talent development. He focuses on helping corporate professionals to do the best work of their lives through his think tank community and his consulting.

“Nobody cares more about your career and your life than you do,” Storch remarks, “to start making proactive decisions, and to truly claim ownership of your life and career, it all comes down to how you can start helping yourself based on your goals and your values”.

For this article, Storch shares his 3 questions to ask yourself to start taking more proactive approach in your life and career and claim ownership of your life.

Andy Storch, Courtesy Photo

Where do I want to go?

Professionals may frequently discuss their goals. But some may feel unclear on what they truly want to do or where they want to go. To remedy this, Storch suggests experimentation despite the societal or cultural pressure.

“Some feel so much pressure, especially if it comes culturally from your parents, your family, that you need to pick this profession and stick with it,” Storch says, “but you still have a lot of time ahead of you. There is more than enough time to take a look at different things”.

The key is to investigate different possibilities. Dive into areas that seem interesting to you. Ask people in your circle what they are doing. Be open to exploring all kinds of possibilities.

Storch suggests an information interview to get clear on this, “reach out to people and ask them for an informational interview. Ask them what they like about their work. Ask them where their goals are. And reflect on that”.

What lights me up?

A lot of people don’t take time to self-reflect. They don’t grab a journal, sit down, and reflect on any takeaways from their day to day events. This means that there is one less opportunity to discover your values and your preferences as a person.

Storch suggests asking these following questions to get your brain thinking, “what are the things you really enjoy doing? What do you hate doing? What lights you up? What energizes you? What are your values?”.

Being clear on what lights you up and what you value will help you get clear on the actions that you must take. It can also help you make decisions while minding any possible trade-off’s that come from moving forward with the life choice.

“A lot of people get in is I think they’re often setting goals or going into careers purely based on what other people are doing,” Storch adds, “Take some time to think about who you are, what makes you happy, and run with it. You only get one life, only one chance”.

What is your why? What’s your purpose?

Knowing and finding your purpose can feel very difficult. The recent events have presented us with various challenges that seem impossible to turn into opportunities. But continued up’s and down’s of life is the exact reason why you need your north star– your purpose.

“No matter what goals you set with life or your career, there will be challenges,” Storch says, “for example, you can’t just say, I’m going to go to the gym and go to the gym you have and work out more. You need to be able to connect back to your why”.

The purpose is what gets you going when things get tough because there always will be challenges. You have to have a purpose. The more you can connect to your why, the more energy and drive you’ll have to take more ownership in life and career.