What do you want?

It’s a ridiculously simple question.

But it’s not only one of the most powerful coaching questions I’ve used, it’s one that we don’t often ask ourselves – and one that can be difficult to answer.

More often we ask ourselves:

What should I do?

What do others want me or need me to do?

What do I have to do?

This simple question – “what do I want” – can be applied to a micro situation; a problem, a work-related issue, a project, a tricky conversation…

But also, as we slide into the end of the year and our summer break, it’s also a useful question to sit with on a macro level.

What do I want – when it comes to my life, relationships, health and career, even how I spend my time?  

I’ve been sitting with this question for the last couple of weeks. It’s a hard question for me to answer. I find the ‘shoulds’ and the ‘can dos’ are loud, shouting voices that clamour for my attention. But when I get still, and I keep coming back to this quiet question ‘what do you want Suzi?’, something is slowly emerging.

So sure, fill out those 2023 goal sheets and plan for success workbooks, but maybe before you do – when you’re lying on the beach in the sun, when you’re going for a walk, when you get still – keep this question at the heart of your musings.  

Ask yourself ‘what do I want?’


  1. Dr. Michael L. Woodard, Ph.D. on March 23, 2023 at 2:56 am

    Dear Suzi,

    I stumbled across your blog page, and post this morning entitled “what do I want.” Let me start with how grateful I am that I did find your blog, and this post. What a wonderful little article, with a very powerful question. I have had to ask it of myself many times over the years, and it is amazing how the answers stay the same, and change. Keep up the wonderful thinking and writing.

    Have a blessed day

    • Suzi McAlpine on March 23, 2023 at 9:54 am

      Hi Michael, Thanks so much for your message, it made my day! Glad the post resonated with you. Cheers Suzi

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Suzi McAlpine

Suzi McAlpine is a Leadership Development Specialist and author of the award-winning leadership blog, The Leader’s Digest. She writes and teaches about accomplished leadership, what magic emerges when it’s present, and how to ignite better leadership in individuals, teams and organisations. Suzi has been a leader and senior executive herself, working alongside CEOs and executive teams in a variety of roles. Her experience has included being a head-hunter, an executive coach, and a practice leader for a division at the world’s largest HR consulting firm. Suzi provides a range of services as a Leadership Development Specialist, including executive coaching, leadership workshops and development programmes for CEOs, leadership teams and organisations throughout New Zealand.

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