What Might You Do?

Part 4 of 4 in a Mini-Course on How to Navigate Life's Most Challenging Decisions

Victor Saad

Founder

For the past three weeks, we’ve been sharing simple questions to help during life’s twists and turns. Here’s a quick recap:

Week #1: “What do you care about?” — Notice the issues and situations that frustrate or excite when you move throughout your day.

Week #2: “What do you enjoy making?” — List the types of work that feel natural, meaningful, energizing.

Week #3: “Who do you like working with?” — Identify the specific kinds of people you’re curious about learning from or working with.

Now, what might you do?

After answering these questions, you have a series of clues about what you might do next. Write out your responses from your first three weeks in a grid. Here’s an example from what Wednesday Words readers have shared.

What's Next

What might you do next?

Now, it’s time to start drawing connections between your words to brainstorm your next step. In this case, you’re thinking of projects or “experiments” you might be able to do within a short time period (ie: one month) to learn about yourself, an industry, a skillset, etc.

To get in the right mindset for this, we’re going to lean into a few of tips we learned from our friends at IDEO and the d.school:

  1. Defer judgment. Let any thoughts or ideas fly. You can always edit later. For now, anything goes.
  2. Embrace time constraints. Set a timer for 7 minutes. Whatever you have by that point is great!
  3. Invite a friend (or two). You can do this exercise solo, but if possible, it’s helpful to have others who can offer different perspectives and ideas.
  4. “Yes, and…” As you start, let your ideas and those of others build upon one another. The momentum can lead to interesting combinations you wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.

Your words are just a starting point and you can combine any of the options in your grid. Set a timer and try to create at least 5 potential projects.

Examples

Here’s what I came up with the words above:

  • Interview 2-3 psychologists about their recommendations for using technology well. Turn their responses into a blog post or series.
  • Organize a Sunday dinner with and for my neighbors.
  • Host a summer meetup for local educators interested in adding more arts curriculum/experiences in their classes.
  • Meet with study abroad offices at a local college to learn how to inform students about environmentally sound travel practices. Offer to host a pre-departure meetup for students.
  • Create a big sister/big brother program between a college arts classroom and a high school arts classroom.

Your Turn

Try making your grid with 3-4 words in each column. Then set a timer and see if you can come up with five or more ideas.

Let us know how it goes!

PS: Next week, I’ll share a little bonus post to wrap up this series!

PPS: We launched a Kickstarter for this idea! Snag your deck of cards here.

posted by

Victor Saad

Founder

I’m an author, educator, and community builder living in Chicago. I started Experience Institute, an organization helping college students and career professionals learn and grow through short-term, real-world experiences.

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