Performance vs Passion
Notice I didn’t ask, are you in the top 20%? This isn’t about performance. Instead it’s about passion. Marcus Buckingham’s research suggests that only 2 out of 10 people can agree with the statement, “People recognize what I do well and push me to become better and better at it.” In other words, only twenty percent of the world get to make a difference in the unique way that only they can make. Only 20% feel like they are playing in their sweet spot, and can make a serious contribution because it’s flowing out of their strengths.
Now by strengths, I don’t simply mean what you do well.
There’s a lot of things you may do well. But doing something well doesn’t mean it’s a strength – at least not in my book, and I haven’t written a book. Better yet, not in any of Buckingham’s books (and he’s written a bunch, including Now, Discover Your Strengths). I bet, like me, you can do some things well that still bore and tire you out. A strength is something that gives you life – that breathes passion and drive and energy into you, rather than sapping you of your energy.
If you’re anything like me, the things you do well are the first things to get ignored.
Remember when you were a kid? 4 A’s, 1 B and 1 C? What did your folks focus on? Let me guess: the C. Right? Because everyone wants to know why you aren’t better at those things. But did you spend time talking about the A’s? Did anyone ask why you were getting those A’s? What you liked? What fueled you in those classes? Imagine that they had. Imagine that they’d figured out your unique way of learning or what you liked about those subjects. It might prove valuable in that class where you were getting a C, right?
Will you get started today?
As you think about your time and energy this week, would you challenge yourself to evaluate which things are giving you passion and which things are sapping the life away from you? Which things cause you to stay up later and longer and which things put you to sleep? And then begin asking what it would look like if you spent your days leaning into those strengths so that you can have real impact!