“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain
I can’t do anything for that first one. That one is up to your parents.
But I’m all about the second one: do you know why you exist? What were you born to do? What’s your purpose for existence and how do you maximize your potential to fulfill it?
Seven years ago I knew I had a purpose, but didn’t know HOW to figure it out. This is where most career advice falls short. We all know we should figure out our why and maximize our potential, but how the heck do you do it?
Here’s the 3-step process I followed:
1. Get clear about what you do best, those things that make you different and unique from everyone else around you. These are your superpowers, and they’ve likely either been dormant for years or you’ve been using them without realizing it. How do you get clear about them? Track your energy. What things during the week make you feel energized? Make a list. Now look at it. Ever wonder why those things make you feel energized? You guessed it. Because they are natural talents.
2. Figure out your passion. Your strengths — or superpowers — are WHAT you do best. But superheroes’ superpowers gain real power when they are aimed at a specific purpose, usually vanquishing evil. Perhaps that’s not your purpose, but what is? Here’s a hint: it often emerges from your life experiences. I didn’t know my purpose until I worked a misaligned job and saw the impact on my family. I then committed to fighting inauthenticity, incongruence, and misaligned work. Said more positively, I exist to help people maximize their potential. Your purpose should fit neatly into 5-10 words or less. It’s a rallying cry. And it should motivate you like crazy.
3. Identify how to use your strengths to accomplish your purpose. You really have three choices here: 1. Align with an organization that does your strengths and purpose already. 2. Create an organization that does your strengths and purpose. 3. Join an organization whose outcome isn’t your purpose, but who needs your purpose to accomplish their outcome. Let me unpack each.
Are there other ways to use your purpose and strengths? Absolutely. Try volunteering, parenting in a different way, joining a local organization that is purpose-aligned, practice using what you do best in your church, read about your purpose, attend workshops that train you on your talents, or write about what you know to be true and share it with the world.
If there are two important days, and one of them has already happened (or you wouldn’t be reading this), don’t let the second slip by. Get after it and figure it out!
And, if you need help, this is what I do. I take on about 6 people a month for 3-5 sessions and help them get radically clear about who they are and where they’re headed. Check out www.dustinpeterson.me/coaching for more info.
Hi! I'm Dustin.
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