Conditions For Well-Formed Outcomes

People I work with in my therapy and coaching sessions are often unsure or vague about what they want to do with their professional or work lives and their personal lives.

For most of us, this is an ongoing dilemma, we continue to consider throughout our lives.

The following is a set of questions you may apply to key desired outcomes of your professional or personal life that you are exploring or considering to pursue.

It is a way of identifying your highly-valued criteria, related to any of your desired outcomes.

It is a framework to help you decide, if what you are pursuing is worth doing, meaningful or compelling enough to pursue.

1. What do I want? (In a particular context)

Is it possible in the world to ….learn…do…have…be….or experience?

Is it possible for me?

When, where, how….want?

When, where, how….don’t want?

Little picture vs. big picture considerations?

Short-term and long-term considerations?

2. For me, what’s important about what I want? (Highly-valued criteria regarding a particular desired outcome)

Is it worth learning….doing….having….being….or experiencing?

3. How willing am I to do what is necessary to learn….do….have….be….or experience what I want?

4. When I get what I want and meet my highly-valued criteria, what will that do for me?

Will it get me what I really want? (Will it be fulfilling or compelling enough for me?)

What kinds of things will improve in my life as a result of me getting what I really want?

5. How will I know when I have what I really want? (Examples or evidence)


6. What kinds of strategies, tactics, resources and relationships might I use to get what I really want? (Internal and external)


7. For me, what is important about how I go about getting what I really want?


8. For me, in the context of my other important desired outcomes and highly-valued criteria, is it worth what it will take to get this outcome?


Adapted 2013 by M. Douglas Evans from Know How: Guided Programs for Inventing Your Own Best Future By Cameron-Bandler, Gordan and Lebeau, 1985.

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