Max Lucado writes about finding your sweet spot in his book “Cure for the Common Life”. Where is it that you thrive? What were you created for? He uses a framework called “STORY” to help us think through these things.
What are your Strengths?
What is it that you like to do? Fixing things. Organizing events. Listening to those in need. Helping teams. Loving children.
Look for the verbs that arise: fixing, organizing, listening, helping, loving, etc. These point to your strengths… the things that come naturally to you, or that don’t seem like work.
What is your Topic?
If strengths are Verbs… your Topic comes from the nouns: the things you like to work with. Children. Animals. Marketing campaigns. Numbers. Concepts. Arts and Crafts. Sales calls. Urinary Tracts.
What fascinates you? Where are you at home? What do you love to be near, with, around? What are the things you like to work with.
For me, I love People, Scripture & Numbers. I love to work with each of these. That’s one reason why teaching is so fun: it’s Scripture and people together!
What ‘topics’ are yours?
What are your Optimal Conditions?
How do you like to work?
Some love to respond to a need; they jump into action when someone is in need, and they seem to meet it every time. Others, like to improve a process: put them on a team or a project, and they are always finding ways to make things better, friendlier, more efficient.
Some love the same thing every day (high value of routine and predictability), others love the unknown that comes in their job (spontaneity). One likes to blue-sky ideas… another likes to put the nuts-and-bolts in place. Achieve goals or solve problems.
Design or develop or stabilize. This is a great framework from Bobb Biehl: Every concept, idea or project is either in the Design phase, the develop phase or the stabilize phase. It’s an idea on paper/in someone’s head (design), it’s a working model or beta form & getting streamlined/improved (develop), or it’s working well and needs to have some one work it well (stabilize).
My first full-time ministry job was all stabilize. I directed hockey camps that were established and the system was running well. I oversaw the process for 2,000 young hockey players to encounter Christ in week-long camps. It was all stabilize. My personal wiring is a hybrid between design & develop. I didn’t really love my job, but couldn’t figure out why.
UNTIL… I learned this Bobb Biehl framework. My optimal conditions for my Sweet Spot are in design-develop. My then-current posting was in stabilizing. I knew I wasn’t in my sweet spot. And, along with my boss, I moved jobs.
What are your Relationships
How do people factor in to your sweet spot? Think to when you have thrived or known you were most engaged, productive, fruitful, effective. Were you a lone-ranger? In a close-knit duo or trio? On a larger team? In a giant army?
Do you want to be the primary leader or the 2nd in command? Or, a strong member of the team? Perhaps you are wried to be the devil’s advocate on things?
This is that intangible factor in your S.T.O.R.Y. Times when you’ve had the thought: “I was made to do this” or “I could do this again and again” or “They pay me for this?” It’s the Eric Liddel quote: Olympic gold-medalist in the 20s who wouldn’t run on Sundays. “God made me fast. He made me fast for a purpose. When I run, I feel his pleasure.”
What is that, when you do ti, you feel God’s pleasure? Find that. It’s in or near your sweet spot!
Strengths / Topic / Optimal Conditions / Relationships / YES! Use these to discover the story of your Sweet Spot!