Finding the Work You Were Meant to Do

what to do - v3
The first part of my upcoming book on Working Naturally and Natural Enterprise focuses on gauging your readiness for natural work, an explanation of how it differs from the kinds of work most people do today, and the challenge of finding your ‘sweet spot’, where your Gift (what you do uniquely well), your Passion (what you love doing) and your Purpose (what’s needed) overlap — the work you were meant to do.

Since I developed this model, which is an extension of Dick Richards’ ‘Genius’ model explained in his book Is Your Genius at Work, I’ve used it to help a lot of people find what might be their sweet spot. I’ve learned a number of things from this process:

  • For some people there is no sweet spot, at least not yet: I know some people whose Gifts and Passions simply do not overlap at all, and I know others whose Gifts and Passions do not intersect with any recognized, affordable need. Some people would assert that they just have not yet discovered these intersections. I would counter that there is a reasonable chance that some people never will.
  • The sweet spot moves: Just as the strike zone in baseball has changed as both pitchers and batters have gotten better, so too does the sweet spot for many of us, as we learn more about what we’re good at, and what we love, as we acquire new competencies and lose our edge in others, as we develop new passions and grow disenchanted with others, and as the recognized, affordable needs of the market evolve over time. Resilience in Working Naturally requires a constant attention to these changes, and a constant stretching for greater self-awareness, so that as the sweet spot moves your Natural Enterprise can move with it.
  • Discovering your sweet spot is a complex process: Intuition may tell you where to start, but probably won’t get you there. The approach is iterative — you can start with your Gifts and try to discover which of them you love doing, and then research how those Gifts might in part address an unmet need, and then discover other people whose Gifts complement yours in meeting that need, people you know you’d love to work with. Or you can start with unmet needs that you care about and then figure out which partners you would need to bring together to address it. Or you can start with a group of people you think you’d love to work with and inventory your collective Gifts and figure out what unmet needs you could collectively meet. And as all of these things are constantly changing, the dynamic of establishing and evolving a collective Natural Enterprise becomes an extremely complex one that requires you and your partners to become skilled at improvisation, and sometimes, when that doesn’t work, to change partners. In that respect it’s a lot like that other type of partnership, marriage.

After thirty years, I’ve honed in quite precisely on what is, at least for now, my sweet spot:

The capacity to be a sounding board, observing, listening, imagining and interjecting relevant possibilities, and showing tools and methods that might improve effectiveness, to help people let themselves become who they really are and do what they were meant to do.

This is a curious combination of Gifts and Passions — attending, imagining and demonstrating. I’ve indicated that they involve more active intervention than facilitation or provocation, but less than coaching, catalyzing, or guiding. The word ‘advice’ means ‘how it appears’, so perhaps I’m an advisor in the original sense of the term, a reflector, or even, in its original sense of ‘one who brings forth’, a parent. An emerger.

Enough about me. 

The three-part website accompanying my book will contain tools to help people (a) find their sweet spot, (b) find people to make a living with, and (c) expose needs, ideas and innovations to ‘the wisdom of crowds’. I need your assistance to design these tools. How might theywork? Help me imagine the possibilities.

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1 Response to Finding the Work You Were Meant to Do

  1. Vish Goda says:

    Dave,I am building exactly such a tool – and I will be more than happy and honored to work with you on that – I am in the process of validating the concept and the product with experts such as you. Please let me know if it is ok to send you a link with a presentation on that. I think, I did send you a link to the product – dont know if you got to see it or if it was lost in junk mail.RegardsVish Goda

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