How are You Investing in the Portfolio of Your Life?

How are You Investing in the Portfolio of Your Life?
Thomas Thompson
April 12, 2022
min read

I work with leaders considering transition in their life or career.

In these moments, I always challenge them to step BACK before they step forward.

Instead of focusing on the question, “What job do I want to do next,” I ask them to step back and ask, “What is the life I would love to say YES to?”

See, the first question is binary.  Choosing between A or B.  This feels REACTIVE.

The second question challenges you to get more PROACTIVE.  Because when you spend time really digging into the life that you would love, you may realize that the decision is NOT A or B.

Maybe it is C.  

Or even D.  

Or maybe it IS A, but you are now headed into that choice with greater agency and confidence that this choice is in line with the life that you would love.

So how do you begin to unpack the life that you would love?

First, start paying attention to where you have BEEN.

I help leaders unpack where they have been through questions like:

  • What keeps you up at night?  The wrongs in the world you feel a sense of holy discontent around.
  • What gets you up in the morning?  The people, conversations, and activities that catapult your heart towards action.
  • What got you here?  The leadership lessons driven deep in you that you didn't get from a book or someone else–you LIVED them; you were there.
  • How are you wired to lead?  Leveraging your unique wiring and leadership strengths so you lead out of who you were designed to be.

Then, start seeking to steward where you are GOING.

I walk leaders through questions that help them intentionally invest their lives in what would give them the best return.  Questions like:

  • Who are the kinds of people you would love to spend most of your time with?
  • What are the conversations you would love to tackle all day long?
  • What are the challenges you would never tire of diving into?

One tool to help leaders lean into where they are going is the “Wheel of Yes.”

The concept is simple:  We all know what it is like to invest our finances in a diversified portfolio, that pie chart where we decide where we want our money to go.

Imagine your life as a pie of investment

What if we decided to invest our LIVES in a diversified portfolio, a pie chart where we decide where we want our LIFE to go?  What we want to say YES to.

This seven-step exercise can be done by individuals or couples.

1. What is the life you want to say YES to more over to the next season of your life?

Think in terms of categories such as:

  • Vocation–the work your hands find to do
  • Health–what kind of shape you would like to be in physically
  • Spiritually–what role do you see faith playing in your life as you move forward
  • Family–how would you like the  next season to look like with these close ones.
  • Friendships–the people you want to build life with.
  • Avocation–the hobbies and activities that fill your tank.
  • Mentally–the knowledge and learning you want to gain. 
  • Serving–the places where you want to give your life back.

2. Start populating these lists with ideas, dreams, images, and goals. .

3. Draw a big circle and divide it like a portfolio pie chart into your categories–you get to set the investment ratios!

4. Begin to move your lists over to the pie chart (sticky notes help).

5. Start to answer three questions for each category:  

  • “For me/us to say YES to this piece, what do we have to start saying NO to?”
  • “Who needs to have eyes/input/accountability on this piece?”
  • “What is the simplest and most impactful next step to start this piece moving forward?

The point of this exercise is to get you to step back and ask the REAL questions about the life you would love, and then begin to step FORWARD with more intentionality, agency, and confidence.

Thomas helps leaders navigate what’s next in their leadership, lives, and teams.  If he can serve you in this, reach out to him HERE.

Photo by Mathieu Stern on Unsplash

I founded Thompson Leadership to come alongside leaders like you. Together, we will unpack your unique leadership, unearth your biggest challenge, and create an action plan to close the gap between where you are and where you want to be.
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