There is a multitude of different factors that contribute towards your satisfaction, efficacy and general ability to perform a task in a specific environment. Likewise there are multiple tests to measure, discover and unfold them. I thought that, for the sake of clarity as well as my own peace of mind, it would be worth placing them all in one place.
1. Values-these are things that are important to you, the things that determine where you spend your time and energy. E.g do you value family over work. They also include moral values e.g. will you work in an environment where you may have to lie-a lot. Basically they help you with motives and priorities.
2. Triggers-what causes you to work better? What do you respond to? I work well with classical music and write well to soundtracks from epic heroic movies. I take compliments well. Here also you can include things like task vs people oriented, are you structured or unstructured
3. Strengths-What you do well? This includes talent(natural gifting) and skill(talent you’ve worked on)
4. Passion-what drives you? These are things you enjoy doing and often feel emotional about. I’m passionate about seeing young people grow and develop to their greater potential. It’s also worth looking at your dislikes-what you hate (for me routine) or what’s a deal breaker. Sorry but I don’t like working among the elderly for long periods, they drain me.
5. Your Dreams-your goals, visions things you want to do. This includes strengths you may want to develop
6. Learning Style-how you retain and synthesis information. I am blessed with multiple, strong styles but tend to focus on auditory and visual.
7. Love Language-how do you express emotion to someone else, how do you reward people? Do you give gifts or do you prefer quality time or a verbal affirmation.
8. Finally there is you purpose and call. I put this last, namely because all the above can give a clue to what yours is. Purpose, this is your core reason for existence, the thing that permeates all you do, brings the most satisfaction and results for you. Call, now that’s probably a little different-the best shot I can give is a divine/supernatural directed path. I would even hazard, stepping onto shaky theological ground, that not all people have a call. We all have a purpose, but having a sense of God asking you to do something, lets say that I don’t know many people with that sort of mandate.
What does it all mean, what’s the point of this all really? Well it’s a pretty task and unless you use the information to help direct your life then you are basically no better off not knowing. Nor are the lists totally complete-ever. I started dancing at 24 and found that I had an above average talent. I’ve never played an instrument, but that could easily be a skill or strength if I work at it. How can it help, well try this task which I engaged in last night. List your strengths-all of them-don’t be shy either. If you not sure ask a few people what they see in you. Now take key areas or tasks in your life and rank them based on the number of total strengths they match. I got a list of 30(with some overlap). If that sounds pretentious to you, well it’s my list I’m not in it for the competition, yours may have more or less, that’s your list. Anyway, physiotherapy in my current role scored an 18/30-that’s 60% pretty good. Dance got 15/30, again a 50% not bad. Teaching, well teaching shocked me with the result, I wasn’t expecting the 25/30 80% that I got. Teaching engages more of my strengths than anything else I do-no wonder I enjoy it so much. Now there are probably other activities that I could do that match or beat that-I’m working on the concept. There is also interplay with other things like passion-I will not be teaching a geriatric class on political science any time soon, and values-no terrorist lessons please.
Anyway, it’s made me think about my future and what I can do to improve my teaching/facilitating role (one of which is do a Masters degree). Direct impact, bringing change through application, useful exercise for me. Try it, apply it and see.