Do you know yourself well enough to know what you’re good at? Knowing what you’re good at help you know how to apply yourself.
Before I committed to writing a blog, I didn’t know that I was a good writer. I thought I could be a good writer, but I didn’t know I was a good writer. That is, until I started writing.
How well do you know yourself? How willing are you to find out how good you are at things that you would like to do? And how much are you willing to invest yourself in doing those things?
Here’s an inventory to use to find what you’re good at—and you can also use it as a blueprint to develop yourself. For this exercise, you’ll need a piece of paper and a pencil—and an eraser in case you mess up.
To start, draw a vertical line down the center of the page to bisect the page. Then draw a horizontal line across the center of the page to bisect the page. Then draw a horizontal line across the page to bisect the upper half of the page, and also draw a horizontal line to bisect the lower half of the page. Your page should be divided into eight equally-sized boxes.
(NOTE: While I think it is extremely important to take your family responsibilities seriously—and to be the spouse and parent that you need to be—do not list those responsibilities here. This exercise is to help you know yourself better so you can discover your strengths.)
The top fourth of your page is for your talents. In the top left box write “TALENTS NOW” in the top of the box.
Think about your talents. What are you good at now? What do you like to do? And what have people said that you are good at? Make a list of those talents.
Now in the top right box write “TALENTS FUTURE” in the top of the box.
Think about what might be your talents. Start listing the things you think you would be good at. Or you would like to be good at. Or you would hope to be good at. Also think through what you would want to be known for doing. Put those things in your TALENTS FUTURE list.
The next horizontal section is for your time. In the left hand box of that section, write “TIME NOW” in the top of the box.
Think about how you use your time. How do you like to use your time? What do you derive enjoyment from? What have other people said you make as a priority with your time? Make a list of how you use your time.
Now in the right hand box, write “TIME FUTURE” in the top of the box.
Think about how you could use your time and start making a list. How you might be willing to invest your time. What you would be willing to make more time for. And make sure you add to the TIME FUTURE list what you would want to use your time to do.
The next horizontal section is for training. In the left hand box of that section, write “TRAINING NOW” in the top of the box.
Think about the training you have received. What have you been trained to do? What have you learned how to do on your own? And what expertise do you currently have access to? Make a list of the training, knowledge, and information you have or have access to at this point.
Now in the right hand box, write “TRAINING FUTURE” in the top of the box.
Think about what kind of training you would like to get and make a list. What information you would be willing to work to find out. What expertise you would be willing to seek out on your own. And make sure you add to the TRAINING FUTURE list the skill you would want to be known for.
The bottom horizontal section is for treasure. In the bottom left box of the page, write “TREASURE NOW” in the top of the box.
Think about what you get paid to do now. What do you get paid for? What have you been paid for in the past? And what have people been willing to pay you for? Make a list of how you can make, have made, or could make money now.
Now in the bottom right box, write “TREASURE FUTURE” in the top of the box.
Think about how you would like to make money. Make a list of everything you come up with. What you would be willing to do to make money. What you would be willing to try to do as a money-making venture. And what others have said you should do to make money. And make sure you add to the TREASURE FUTURE list what money-making activity you would want to be known for.
Now look through your lists. What themes do you identify? What connections can you make? And what insights do you see? Also, what have you learned about yourself as a result? How much more do you know yourself now?
With the information you have now about yourself, what will you do differently? What changes will you make? How will you use your time, apply your talents, and get the training to build up your treasure?
Remember it’s not about money. The treasure you build up should not be looked at only through the lens of money. The fact that people are willing to pay you money means that they find what you do of value. Know yourself well enough that you can use your time, apply your talents, and get the training to be a person of value to others.
Did you know …?
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