Recently I helped my niece plan the menus for a weekend celebration of her husband’s graduation from Veterinary School. We had many blind spots as we started planning. We didn’t know what we didn’t know.
Who was coming? When they would arrive and when they would leave? What food preferences and limitations were there to plan around?
There was also the question of the kitchen of the rental home where we were staying. How was it equipped? What kind of pots, pans, knives, refrigerator space and cooking space would we have to work with?
It’s the same way in discovering our Zone of Genius. We need to develop awareness in order to discover the place where we are created to make the biggest difference. This is why the first step of the Masterpiece Work Process is Reflect.
Two Key Questions
In The Big Leap, Gay Hendricks says these two main questions are the foundation for identifying your Zone of Genius.
- What is my genius?
- How can I bring forth my genius in ways that serve others and myself at the same time?
The second question is very important, but often neglected. I’ve heard many people be very concerned about serving others, but neglect the fact that God uses their Zone of Genius, their Masterpiece Work, to provide their daily bread along with serving others.
There may be times when we must work in a role that isn’t in our Zone of Genius, our Masterpiece Work, to support our family. I’ve heard that referred to as a J-O-B. However, we’re able to maximize our impact and serve others most effectively when working in our Zone of Genius. We are able to sustain our efforts over the long term when doing our Masterpiece Work.
Discovering Your Zone of Genius
Hendricks says this about discovering your Zone of Genius. “Those who have the courage to discover and bring forth their genius break through to unparalleled heights of productivity and life satisfaction.” Who doesn’t want to have a productive and satisfying life?
Discovering your Zone of Genius requires developing the ability to wonder about the questions below. Wondering is not just coming up with the first answer that comes into your head but pondering with an open mind and an open heart. This process won’t happen over one or two days. It will take some time, but it will be time well spent.
Hendricks uses these questions to discover your Zone of Genius:
- “What do I most love to do?
- What work do I do that doesn’t seem like work?
- In my work, what produces the highest ratio of abundance and satisfaction to amount of time spent?
- What is my unique ability?” – This gift is your greatest contribution to your organization and the world.
He goes deep on identifying your unique ability, describing it as finding it within a set of nesting Russian dolls. To find it, you finish these sentences:
- “I’m at my best when I’m ____________________________________
- When I’m at my best, the exact thing I’m doing is ______________________________
- When I’m doing that, the thing I love most about it is”______________________________________
This week, I encourage you to wonder about these questions – the first three, wondering about what you love to do most, what work you do that doesn’t seem like work and what produces the highest ration of abundance and satisfaction. Invite God into the wondering, asking for insight and wisdom regarding the work you were created to do. Then ponder the answers to the questions about your unique ability. Identifying your unique ability will be the cornerstone to building your next stage of life on your Zone of Genius.
What is your Unique Ability? Share it in the comments below.