By Tasha M. Troy
Growing up, I had been led to believe that I could do anything I set my mind to. It wasn’t until I read John Maxwell’s book Put Your Dreams to the Test that I was presented with a contrasting view. I was confronted by “The Reality Question.”
“Am I depending on factors within my control to achieve my dream?”
This question really focuses on if my dream is based on the reality of my strengths and talents or if it depends on blind luck. Some of my early ambitions were clearly in the latter category. John says, “The trick is to balance the boldness of dreaming with the reality of your situation.” Fortunately, I eventually figured this out.
The Process of Finding My “Sweet Spot”
As a young college student, I had a dream of living and working overseas. In retrospect, it was a fairly reasonable goal – I had a talent for learning languages and reluctantly recognized my ability to follow in my mother’s footsteps and become a teacher.
When I discovered the field of Teaching English as a Second Language, I knew I had found my ticket to see the world! I pursued an education that would give me the greatest opportunities in that field. When I moved to South Korea to teach English to children (still in my 20s), I “finally” achieved my goal.
However, I discovered something unexpected – I don’t have the personality or disposition to effectively teach children! After only one year, I found work teaching college-aged students in South Korea. While I was better suited to working with young adults, I still struggled in certain areas and was dissatisfied with my effectiveness.
Eventually, an opportunity opened up to teach professional English skills at a large multi-national corporation in South Korea. This time I was working with mid-career adults, and I discovered my “sweet spot” – the place where my strengths, talents, and personality converged to make me highly effective.
As John Maxwell says, “When people are going with their strengths and working in their sweet spot, the work they do is simple and easy.”
Facing a New Reality
Today, I have a new dream. I am working towards helping people reach their full potential, whether it is helping professionals in transition to recognize their “sweet spot” or working with teams to develop the communication skills needed in a culturally diverse workplace.
The Reality Question helps me recognize to what extent I am prepared to meet this challenge and to what extent I need to learn more and to collaborate with others to achieve my ultimate goal. I know the process will take a bit of trial and error, but I am prepared to take this journey of discovery!
Take It Deeper
I challenge you to take inventory today of your strengths and talents. In the end, it is in knowing ourselves that we are best able to move forward and live a life of purpose and success.
Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. If you would like to go deeper on this topic, I hold free exploratory coaching sessions each week. You can register online at Troy Communications or email me to schedule an appointment at TMTroy@TroyCommunications.Net.
If you enjoyed this article and would like to receive these monthly posts in your inbox, you can subscribe at Troy Communications Blog.