One of the most frequent questions I get is: How do I know if I’m working in my Zone of Genius? It’s pretty easy to self-diagnose (knowing what your Zone of Genius is usually more challenging). The following questionnaire will get you started.
Write Yes or No and count the number of Yeses:
1.) Do you love working?
2.) While working you have moments in which you feel super energized and have a sense that your body is buzzing?
3.) You don’t dread the end of holidays or Mondays because when you take a break from work you miss it. Getting back to work feels comforting and exciting.
4.) You believe that you are making the world a better place as a result of your work. It doesn’t matter how, just that you feel a sense of purpose as a result of your work.
5.) You know you are great at what you do and maybe even the best.
6.) You don’t daydream about other jobs.
7.) You feel confident that you are being compensated for the value you provide and have created a lifestyle that matches your income.
8.) You get super excited about new achievements, but they don’t define you.
9.) You enjoy the process of achieving your goals as much as the achievement of them.
10.) You value what you are best at and feel secure in knowing that you can always create real career opportunities leveraging that.
If you said YES to:
7-10 questions then, congrats! You’ve joined the club of those who experience day-to-day excitement and joy in their work. In many ways, you have won a lottery few have access too. You get so much joy from work that it doesn’t feel like work (most of the time). You understand how being happy at work leaks joy into other aspects of your life and can’t remember what it was like to dread Mondays.
4-6 – You experience the joy of loving work sometimes. You feel like something isn’t quite right, but it’s around the corner. You are potentially one opportunity away from experiencing the real joy of operating in your Zone of Genius. You may need to get clearer on what your talent and purpose is, or you may need to focus on really valuing what you do best. Either way, you are close. If you’re committed and determined, you can make this shift quickly. You may need some support to figure out how to be more strategic with your superpowers, or you may just need to believe that being more fulfilled at work is possible.
1-3 – You are in the work doldrums. You are almost at the brink of wanting to quit or realize that life is too short to be doing this kind of work. You may want to use 2014 as a time for research, reflection and planning to improve your situation. It also may be helpful to get more insight into your strengths and how they can be leveraged to fulfill your purpose. Be patient with yourself and realize that it’s a long-distance marathon, not a sprint, and make the commitment to figure out how to use your genius more effectively.