an unexpected complication

ok, so at real work (NCSU), we’re reading a self-help-career-enhancer book called Go Put Your Strengths to Work. it’s basically about tailoring your job to focus more on what you enjoy and less on what makes you want to stab yourself in the eye. as with most of this genre, i’m a little skeptical, but overall, not a bad premise, right? except for one little, slightly embarrassing, problem.

i have a niggling suspicion that in order to follow my heart/find my bliss/put my strengths to work, i should have some clue what my heart/bliss/strengths ARE.

doesn’t that sound lame? it’s a simple enough question…”what do you want to do?” and yet i find my jaw flapping blankly and myself involuntarily responding, “what do you need me to do?” that’s not the point, and i know it. and yet my whole being tenses when i try to weed out the needs, the expectations, and the second-guessing and just BE.

it feels like there must be a secret answer, y’know? like the strategy for exams (which i used more than i like to admit) wherein you answer not the question the professor asked, but the question he implied: “do you agree with me?” my favorite profs were the ones that didn’t work on, but the vast majority of times, it was the fastest, least-effort-involved, route to an A. i think i’m still trying to answer that implied question, but “what do you want” is a tougher one to fake.

the sad fact of it is, i’m not sure i have any idea.

i can list the things i’m good at, the things other people consider my strengths. but according to Go, just because you’re good at something, that doesn’t mean it’s an actual strength. this concept is stressful and gives me a headache. it also profoundly complicates things! >.< because if i can’t go on things i do well for my criteria, what am i supposed to use?

i talked to one of my co-workers about this, and she recommended a list of helpful books. i think the most annoying part of this whole “find your bliss” thing is that i don’t have TIME to sit and meditate about my druthers. in mel’s immortal words, i got shit to DO! maybe after the new year i’ll get a moment to sit down and read through these undoubtedly very helpful resources…maybe i’ll even sit in a dark room and contemplate living like no one is watching. but for now, Christmas is less than a week away and i still haven’t sent out cards, wrapped presents, packed, or baked.

my bliss will simply have to wait its turn.

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1 Comment

  1. krishyana said,

    December 18, 2007 at 11:19 am

    I thought I was the only one who felt like i didn’t know what was going on. I think you hit the nail on the head tho. all the talk in the book is about looking to use your strengths, and all my life i’ve answered to “what needs to be done and i’ll do it.” and the time issue is critical cuz I really haven’t had the time to really READ it and think about it. same for me tho, i think it’s going to have to wait til after the holidays… there really is too much to do. :\… big hugs for you !!!


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