There are two things I often ask people, whether I’m working with them one-on-one or during presentations: What are you the only one of? And just what would you do for free, if money weren’t an item and you could pursue your passion?

In a current keynote that I gave, I challenged the crowd to consider these questions as a way for them to evaluate their personal success assuring of fulfillment. Then I shifted gears and asked them to think globally and put themselves within the mindset of four different people: the mayor of the small town, the governor of a state, the president of a country, and also the leader of the planet (hypothetically, obviously).

First, what are your goals as the mayor of the small town? Most likely, you’d aim for economic growth and job creation to draw in more people — and grow your population.

How about like a state governor? Likewise, you’d probably work toward a thriving economy, for additional and better-paying jobs, and to improve the amenities, services, and healthcare of the community. Again, you want your population to grow.

Now, imagine you’re the president of a country. The goals are similar: In addition to a strong economy, you also want fiscal independence, powerful military that protect the population and also the country’s assets, and prosperity for anyone. In other words, incentives that draw people to your nation.

Before you put yourself in the shoes of the global leader, however, take into account that the world population has a lot more than doubled, from 3.6 billion to 7.7 billion, over the last 50 years. Take a moment to really think about this: In just half a century, the amount of people on Earth has a lot more than doubled.

There is little room left for other species, where there is space, we’re probably moving into it: If we’re not already living somewhere, we’re digging inside it, taking resources out of it, or putting pipelines through it. We’re leaving footprints in almost any and all areas that we can access — and that’s already happening with 7.7 billion people.

If the population growth continues at this pace and doubles within the next 50 years, there will be more than 15 billion people on this planet. Will there be enough oxygen, fresh water, and other resources to support life as we know it here? Will there be room for creatures besides humans?

To date, there aren't any other habit­able planets for us to relocate to. Inside the enormous amount of space that scientists, physicists, and experts at NASA have studied to date, there’s nothing that resembles our beautiful little planet. Everything is ­either too hot, too cold, or else just not right. We don’t possess the luxury of going somewhere else.

Now pretend you’re the leader of the globe: Is population growth still your priority? Or is it doing all you can to safeguard and preserve the planet and all sorts of its natural resources, habitats, and creatures?

My point is the fact that there’s a dichotomy between the first three perspectives and also the global one. While we often talk about the bigger picture — about taking the 30,000-foot view versus a 3,000-foot one — the vast majority of our daily choices and actions are based on what’s closest or most immediate. We’re focused on what’s currently happening around us and the things that have a direct effect on our lives. This comes at a steep cost.

I’m not likely to pretend that I know the means to fix this. My perspective, however, is the fact that we need to consider all of these mindsets and discover opportunities for alignment that are good for everyone, now and in the future.

So, I think I’ll add a third question to those two I usually ask: What are you the only one of? What would you do for free? And what happens when you consider the global perspective?

My hope is that we see the bigger picture and how our daily behaviors may benefit the greater good. We each may play a role — and it’s up to us to make a difference where we can.