If you are reading this, you know this fact: I write a weekly newspaper column and a weekly blog post. Both are called Life Matters and their content is identical, except for the additional links that I can include online.
If you are NOT reading this, never mind.
Here’s what you probably don’t know: sometimes a topic hits me so hard that it has to show up in every venue.
This is one of those times.
Lately I’ve been pondering, talking about, and writing about the topic of the Sweet Spot—that magical place where you operate at your full potential and experience your greatest sense of fulfillment and purpose. In the specifically church/ministry-related contexts, I’ve taken one approach, but I think the concept applies to everyone who is exhausted in the pursuit of success and wants to live with significance.
I’ve developed a series of diagnostic questions to help you find your Sweet Spot. Of course, as a Christ-follower, I am convinced that it happens in the context of living out my faith. But, I don’t think you have to share my faith perspective to benefit from the questions (though it wouldn’t be much of a faith perspective if I didn’t truly believe it was the best one).
So here are the questions:
- If money and people resources were unlimited, what would you spend most of your time doing? If you didn’t have to work for a living, what would you do to build a life?
- What keeps you awake at night—not worrying, but dreaming? Think of this as your significance bucket list—the “if only I could …” list.
- What gives you the greatest sense of fulfillment and purpose? What do you do that makes you think, “This is why I am on this planet!”?
- What challenges always pull your “A” game out of you? It’s probably not the easiest thing you do, but you always rise to the challenge.
- What tasks would you do for free because it is just who you are? These are the things you “get” to do, not that you “have” to do.
Some people might refer to the Sweet Spot as a “calling.” That means that it is not simply about you, but it is a sense of connection to a greater purpose in the world. “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11).
You probably will never be in a position to operate exclusively in your Sweet Spot. The goal is to intentionally and consistently increase the amount of time you spend there.
What’s your first step? It matters to God.