In my last post, “Find Your Inner Japan Grab,” I promised to kick off a series of posts that ask simple questions of you, so that you find that spark of inspiration that sets you apart from everyone else. To follow the metaphor theme, my hope is that through this series of self-exploration you’ll find that spark and go light up the world.
A recent study by Gallup cited that 70% of American workers are completely miserable. Among other reasons, I would argue these are thousands and thousands of people caught up in mass complacency. They are not leading because for 8, 10, 12 hours a day, they shove themselves away someplace inside. Their candle is dim or totally blown out.
Let’s find that candle together, and quickly figure out how you uniquely contribute in your work and life. Each week’s question will build on the other so that you start to see a theme. A story will emerge. Get a scratch piece of paper you can add to each week, create a Word document, or enter responses on your smart phone. Whatever is easiest for you.
The first exercise will take you five minutes or less. I posted about it before, and it’s worth repeating because it’s so powerful.
It comes from a fantastic little book called, “Find Your Great Work,” by Michael Bungay Stanier, where he asks a profound question:
What are your Peak Moments?
Stanier writes, “The Power of the Peak Moment: When we think about what we can do and what’s possible for us, we’re often trapped by the past. We consider our education, we consider our training, we consider our work history. Peak Moments get us beyond that. They tap into the power of subjective experience rather than objective accomplishments. When you think about your Peak Moments, it is about how you felt and not what was actually happening.”
Stanier describes Peak Moments as moments of triumph, not necessarily public, or even the most successful.
“What it is, however, is a moment of private certainty, a moment of insight where you say: yes this is something to remember, this a moment of me at my most essential, me at my most authentic and best.”
Next, Stanier instructs readers to write down three-five Peak Moments (those first that come to mind, don’t think too hard about it) and write a short description of what happened for each, considering things such as:
- Were you alone or in a crowd?
- What was the type of challenge you were facing?
- What made it a Peak Moment for you?
- What was your role?
- How did you overcome any challenges?
- What are you particularly proud of?
- What skills did you use?
I invite you to post responses, insights and questions that come up, so that others may learn from you.
Enjoy the process!
“Carry your candle, run to the darkness
Seek out the hopeless, confused and torn
Hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle, and go light your world.”
— Rice, Christopher M., “Go Light Your World”