Last week I wrote about finding your strengths and suggested ways to identify yours if you didn’t know. Check back on last week’s blog if you need a memory jog here.
For this week’s blog, I wanted to build on that a little, as I look to work alongside local residents to help them achieve what they were designed to be and do. After Christmas we’ll be able to do this through coaching sessions (probably online to start with unfortunately) but this blog will help a little for now with getting a better understanding. For reference, some of the content here is influenced by the book Mining for Gold by Tom Camacho.
You don’t need me to tell you that everyone is different. If ever there was a sentence that stated the obvious, that is a strong contender! But it’s something we often forget especially when people don’t see things as we do. If you’ve ever been in a discussion, on or offline (but usually on Facebook!), where someone completely went against your point of view, in the main they didn’t do so just to annoy you or to start an argument, but they simply saw the subject differently because of the way they are designed. Where strength comes in a community is when people of different viewpoints, skills and abilities can come together, harness their unique differences, and work towards a common goal. That doesn’t mean being something we are not – it simply means recognising who we are as individuals, allowing others to do the same, and using the mix of skills to achieve whatever is needed. I know that is far from easy – but it can be done.
We all have what is often called a ‘sweet spot’. It is the key to being who you were designed to be and will show up when quite simply, everything you do reaches a point of success. It’s a bit like what is often called the Midas touch – when everything we do, or get involved in, turns to gold (not literally – sadly!!). There are three parts to this:
- Our Passion – what really drives you. What do you absolutely love doing that means however tired you are, you’ll always find that extra energy to get it done? What activity or issue really strikes a chord with you and gives you determination to tackle it head on?
- Our Wiring – how your mind works. Some of us excel at numbers, some at words, some at getting their hands dirty. But what is it that just comes naturally to you so that whatever you do around this is successful and effective?
- Our Fruit, or our Positive Output if you prefer. What do you do that brings the greatest impact around you for the least amount of effort? What do you do that people near to you say is really helpful? That may be an activity you’re involved in, or something you do in your street, or something you do to help out?
If we take the time and effort to deeply understand how we are wired, what we are passionate about and what we do naturally that helps others, we are discovering our sweet spot.
Doing this is not a quick or easy process and takes effort, but can be incredibly rewarding for you and those around you. It also doesn’t mean that you’ll never have to do things that you don’t necessarily enjoy! There is always going to be something to do where you really have to push yourself to do it. The problem comes when that is taking up the majority of your life – that is when you start to feel pressed down all the time because you are trapped working outside how you are designed. Some have even said it feels like a punishment. Believe me, I’ve had to lead personnel meetings or budget reviews (to name just 2 examples) that have made me want to run for the hills – but they were a necessary part of what I had to do at the time. Where I’m happiest is when I’m coming alongside people to make a difference either for them or with them for the benefit of others. Happily, that is a huge part of this job!
Coaches often talk about the 80/20 principle, where people will thrive when they spend 80% of their time working in what is their sweet spot. That means they are doing what they do best for the majority of the time. Work is no longer a chore but brings real excitement and success. To get to this point takes hard work though and might mean stopping doing some of the things that aren’t within our sweet spot. (Sorry, housework and ironing are exempt from this!!) The 20% section is often called the challenge spot. Some things just can’t be avoided at home or work and might mean learning some new skills, but when your life is taken up with more than 20% of challenging things, it becomes an uphill struggle. And that is where coaching can help. What amongst those challenging things could you let go of, or what do you need training on?
A key part of working within your sweet spot is when you realise you have the power to make the changes that can make a positive difference in your life. You are not trapped in this life and where you live certainly does not define your future.
The short (3 mins) video below takes this a bit further by looking at our individual character strengths. This is a great place to start by first understanding your inner self which then helps to move on to identify your passion, wiring and fruit/output. I’d love to work with you more on this. If you want to as well, then give me a shout.
Dan Rous, Community Coach 07444 873151 firstname.lastname@example.org