In the classic self-help book, The Power of Full Engagement, the authors provide a simple, three-question framework to determine how engaged you are with your work. Each question is scored on a scale of 1 to 10.
- How excited are you to get to work in the morning?
- How much do you enjoy what you do for its own sake rather than for what it gets you?
- How accountable do you hold yourself to a deeply held set of values?
Take a few moments to give this a shot yourself. If your score was 27 or higher, it’s likely you’re living with a strong sense of purpose. If your score was 22 or lower, you’re likely just going through the motions.
This simple framework can be a valuable checkpoint every month, quarter, or year to see if the work you’re doing is lighting up your creative energy. Work doesn’t have to be energy draining. It can be the exact opposite if we find the right type of work for each of us.
I’ve spent a lot of time in my career in jobs that didn’t fit my strengths or personality. Everyday felt like a struggle and I justified continuing to do the job in many different ways – financial, status, security, etc. Eventually it became very hard to even hear my authentic voice about what I truly enjoyed and felt like I was good at.
But the work that we choose to do might be the most important contribution we make in our lives. It’s a responsibility we owe to ourselves to find work that expresses our talents and creativity. It just takes an honest look at ourselves and the courage to step into the unknown.