What were you born to do?
If you’ve spent any time crafting your personal brand or charting a transformation, it’s likely that you’ve considered some variation of this provocative question. And how clearly you were able to answer it no doubt impacted how easily you were able to move forward in those efforts.
But such self inquiry can be as difficult to answer as it is valuable. So, let’s try to make it a little easier.
First, though, let me tell you about my first career.
I was a spy.
This is not a metaphor. I literally spied on people.
Decades before committing to helping people be more successful at work, I was the co-founder of Wow, a neighborhood spy agency consisting of my fifth grade classmate, Alisa, and me. With a recovered briefcase filled with paper, pencils, binoculars, and cough syrup we snuck around our houses and the adjacent yards to observe any human–or on a slow day, feline–behavior we could find.
It’s only in retrospect that I realize the significance of this activity. While I definitely wasn’t born to be a spy, my propensity for noticing, reflecting, and questioning what people say and do is engrained in who I am.
So, back to you.
What did you enjoy at a young age that connects to who you are now? What are a few themes that have been constant throughout your life?
What have your past experiences prepared you to do better than anyone else? What is your superpower?
What’s your why? What are your guiding principles, values, or ultimate goals?
Perhaps you’re clear on your power and purpose but not sure where or how to apply them. If that’s where you’re stuck, consider:
What do love about your current or past role? You win the lottery and decide to give up 90% of your existing job responsibilities. What 10% do you keep?
What makes you cry? In the news, or a novel, or a documentary, what has impacted you on a deep level? If you could use your superpower only one time, what situation would you choose?
What do you dream of? What would you do if you weren’t afraid? What’s the biggest idea you can imagine?
It’s possible that this is the moment. The moment to start doing exactly what you were born to do.
No one but you can know for sure.
Not even a spy.