How Do You Discover Your Sweet Spot?
Too many of us waste too much of our life by not discovering, refining, and most importantly focusing on our sweet spot. You are never too old or too young to focus on this. All that is required is an open mind and heart.
When you find a niche that aligns with four key factors you are discovering your sweet spot. This helps in all aspects of your life: your career, your business, and your family. It helps you spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and even physically. Focusing on your sweet spot brings a deep sense of purpose. There are four key questions that you'll want to ask yourself to find that sweet spot.
Let's dig into each one of the questions.
Who do you want to become?
Many believe that having a plan in life is just a pointless exercise. They believe that we are simply a result of our genes and our environment. This belief can lead us to absolute disaster. The greatest breakthroughs and results in all facets of life come from being intentional. If you were going to build a skyscraper you would be very deliberate. Your life is more precious than countless skyscrapers. You are a key architect and builder of your future. Don't just let life happen.
Remember what James Allen wrote: “Man is the master of thought, the moulder of character, and the maker and shaper of condition, environment, and destiny.”
Stephen R Covey said to begin with the end in mind. The most important question that you can ask yourself is, who do I want to become?
The key to answering this question is to listen to your deepest yearnings.
It is incredible how migratory animals are driven by yearning and instinct to brave daunting distances and overwhelming obstacles to return home. We hear true stories of lost dogs that somehow traveled thousands of miles to return home. How do these animals know where to go? What type of yearning, instincts, and inner compass do they have? We don’t fully understand it, but we know it exists and is powerful and true.
You have a similar compass. A true yearning is an intense longing for something noble and great. It is an inner guidance system that beckons us towards good, much like a yearning that animals have to migrate or return home.
Most have felt but lost this powerful yearning because of fear, feeling they aren’t enough, others imposing their will, and because of mistakes. They allow self-limiting and false beliefs to smother out the flame. Sometimes we must use kindling, relight the fire, and slowly nurture it along. The yearnings can burn stronger than ever.
Define who you want to be. Create your vision. Visualize and work towards your vision each day. As you do so, your clarity, capability, and confidence will grow stronger and stronger each day so that you can become who it is you yearn the most in your soul to be.
What are Your Most Noble Passions?
One of the most important things you can do to make a real difference is to identify and focus on your noblest passions.
You have an urge and need to find and live a life of meaning. Viktor Frankl lived in Nazi concentration camps. He was a surgeon and a psychiatrist. He believed that the young, strong, and healthy would be the ones who would survive the horrors of the camps.
While in the camps, Viktor interviewed and helped his fellow prisoners. As he observed who stayed alive and who didn’t, it was not the young, strong, and healthy who endured as he had assumed. Those that survived shared a common strength. They all had something to live for. They had meaning in their life. This insight forever changed Viktor’s life.
Viktor wrote, “the men who walked through the huts comforting others; giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man, but one thing: the last of human freedoms—to choose one’s own attitude in any given set of circumstances—to choose one’s own way.”
Frankl survived the incredible ordeals of the Nazi camps by dedicating himself to his purpose - helping other prisoners develop their sense of purpose and to avoid committing suicide (a common problem).
Frankl held on to a vision of one day reuniting with his wife. He also envisioned standing in front of a classroom again - teaching the powerful lessons he was learning.
By focusing on your most noble passions, you become the kind of person you yearn to be, and you accomplish great good.
Noble passions stem from our deepest values and provide deep meaning. To be noble is to possess high moral principles and ideals. A passion is an intense emotion or enthusiasm for something.
Passions focused on integrity, honoring, and building others are constructive and noble. Noble passions are anchored in genuine love. They strengthen, elevate, and help others
What are Your Natural Talents and Strengths?
Most dedicate all of their time to fixing their weaknesses instead of spending time they should developing and building upon their strengths.
Tom Rath wrote in StrengthFinder 2.0 that, "unfortunately, most of us have little sense of our talents and strengths, much less the ability to build our lives around them. Instead, guided by our parents, by our teachers, by our managers, and by psychology's fascination with pathology, we become experts in our weaknesses and spend our lives trying to repair these flaws while our strengths lie dormant and neglected.”
When we focus on our natural talents we are more motivated, our morale is increased, we learn faster, we adapt quicker, we produce more and at higher quality levels, we are more confident, and we make the contributions we yearn to.
How can you discover your talents?
Don Clifton is considered “the father of strengths-based psychology and the grandfather of positive psychology.” He studied talent and top performers throughout his life. Don identified what he called the “Five Clues to Talent” – see below.
Yearning: A yearning is what pulls or attracts you to one activity rather than another. It is an internal force, an almost magnetic attraction that leads you to a particular activity or environment time and again. It is what you focus on when you have no commitments. Don refers to yearnings as "part of the wisdom of the body." To what kinds of activities are you naturally drawn?
Satisfaction: It is psychological fulfillment that results when you take on and successfully meet challenges that engage your greatest talents. Pay close attention to the situations that seem to bring you these energizing experiences. What activities bring intrinsic motivation? What activities do you genuinely enjoy?
Rapid Learning: There are some activities you “are more naturally wired to learn.” What kind of activities do you seem to pick up quickly?
Glimpses of Excellence: There are flashes of outstanding performance that have been observed by you or others. In these moments, the task at hand has tapped some of your greatest talents and directly displayed your potential for strength. During what activities have you had moments when you thought, how did I do that?”
Timelessness: Timelessness also can serve as a clue to talent. If you have ever become so engrossed in an activity that you lost all track of time, it may have been because the activity engaged you at a deep, natural level—the level of great talent. What type of activities do you become so engrossed in that you lose track of time?
Where are there needs?
A fourth consideration, especially if you are looking for a career or business sweet spot, is where are the needs in the marketplace.
Career One Stop (https://www.careeronestop.org/) is an integrated suite of websites, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, that helps individuals to find resources to help them to learn more about career and even business opportunities. You can explore trends, pay, training, and other resources.
Creating You Planner
The Creating You Planner helps you to: