foo bar baz

I Know Who I Am When I See What I Do

One way to “live on purpose” is to be a scientist of yourself. Explore the things you love to do and what comes easily to you. Think about the times you’ve experienced real joy…is there a common theme? We learn a lot about ourselves as we discover what we enjoy and are capable of.

Our desires and careers change because we change, and sometimes what we are doing is no longer a good fit. I learned the concept of “match quality” from the book Range by David Epstein. We won’t know if something is a good match until we try it out, and I love the thought presented in the book that what we often call “quitting” is really just realizing what we are spending our time on is not a good match for us. Trying different things is the answer to finding our talents. And we don’t need to keep doing something if it no longer brings the joy and challenge we needed from it.

In Range I learned about Frances Hesselbein, who was the CEO of the Girl Scouts of America from 1976 to 1990. She started out as a volunteer troop leader and when asked about her decision to take the CEO position, even though she never imagined doing that, she said she “went where she could learn something and serve where she was needed.” We aren’t stuck in one story for ourselves!

As I was listening to the part of the book about match quality, I started a list on my phone. Some things on my list are: “Edit essays. Start a non-profit. Event planning. Write a children’s book. Something with sports. Something with music. Psychology related. Write a blog to help women with self-care.” And now I’m doing some of these things! I recommend you make a list of possibilities then start experimenting. Work forward from promising situations, learn in practice not theory. You just might be surprised at where this leads you! “Flirt with your possible selves” says Epstein. Ask yourself: “Which of my various possible selves should I start exploring now? How do I go about doing that?” And then begin.

If you aren’t sure where to begin, contact me for a FREE discovery session to see why coaching is a good fit for you!