Part 1 of Just WHO are YOU in the Midst of Now introduced the concept of knowing your purpose. A core purpose or mission offers a filter for deciding life and work priorities. In today’s post, we’ll begin analyzing the data you collected data on your strengths and time. If you missed the first post, click here to read Part 1.
Start with Your Strengths
The first assignment of the Part 1 post exercise involved listing what you believe are your strengths and obtaining input from trusted friends, colleagues and family.
Reflect for a moment: Which strengths did only you capture or only your input group? Which strengths did you and your input group both recognize? Why might a strength fall into one or the other of these three categories?
Next, take a sheet of paper and list the strengths in a column to the left, beginning with those solely on your list, items shared by you and your friends, colleagues and family, and then finally those surfaced solely by your input group. Give yourself a couple lines per item. You can also use a spreadsheet or the form in this document.
If you’re not using the downloaded document, add four columns:
- 1. Who?
- 2. How?
- 3. Love?
- 4. Money?
Work through the strengths analysis by asking yourself, “When I employ [specific strength], …
- Who benefits? The answer can be an identified individual (Mary) or category (my students, my colleagues) or an organization. You might have more than one beneficiary.
- How does each person/group/organization benefit?
- Do I love doing this? Is performing the strength meaningful to me?
- Am I (or can I be) earning money for doing this strength?
Reflect on the answers, and consider how often are you able to link what you love to how you make your living.
Pull out the time log (the third assignment from the Part 1 exercise). Perform a few rough calculations: How much time did you spend …
- Sleeping? What’s your daily average?
- Engaging with family or friends?
- Performing necessary tasks such as cleaning, cooking, errands, etc.?
- Focusing on self-care? Self-care involves use of time for regenerative or restorative purposes such as meditation, exercise, a massage or recreational reading.
- Focusing on self-development? Self-development includes activities leading to personal or professional learning and desired change.
Now compare the daily logs to your strengths list. What proportion of your time are you applying your strengths, especially those you love?
Connecting to Your “Most Important” List
Pull out the second assignment from the Part 1 exercise: The list of the top five “important things” in your life. Compare this list to your strengths and time analyses. Consider …
- How often do the strengths you employ most frequently benefit one of your top five?
- What proportion of time do you allocate to your top five?
- Are you happy or satisfied with the current balance of time and strengths use?
- What would you change?
I’d love to hear your thoughts or questions regarding the activities in the past two posts. Are you finding these helpful? In the next post I’ll share a values sorting exercise and we’ll conclude this series on Just WHO are YOU in the midst of now.
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