Have you ever wondered if your life is going around in circles and you are not getting anywhere? Last year, I drew three circles into my journal and mapped areas of my life into the overlapping circles. I scratched a diagram of my past; I also crafted one for my future. As a result of discovering and living from my Circles of Growth I am now a different person, a more fully alive person. I have shared this with friends and acquaintances, and they all want to hear more. So I am sharing the seven zones of the Circles of Growth here.
Some say you are born with talent; others say you develop them through discipline. I am not here to argue one or the other. What is important is that you discover your natural abilities and hone them. Sometimes your passion, what you love, can lead you to use what little talent you have and find opportunities to develop them further.
This is what you love to do. You naturally invest time, money and energy here. You may be good or bad at what you enjoy doing, you may be paid or not. If you are good, you will be applauded. If you are challenged, you may be judged and get comments like, “Don’t waste your time.” Whether you are an amateur or professional, it is important to give space in your life for your passions.
The needs of the world call for our contribution. As children, our schools educated us about our place in the world. Various voices of authority taught us how we should live. That external calling is general and only a starting point. Some live their entire lives here. To live satisfying lives, we need to dive deeper to discover the internal compass within: to discover what we were born to do, what we were born to be, what the world would miss if we were not around.
In the world of work, survival and competition, there may not be space for hobbies. The old saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” still holds true. Without play, our work and lives may stagnate from sheer boredom. Hobbies combine our talents and passions in an intentional way. It is not the same as whiling our time away through mass entertainment. It is discovering the kind of music, movies, and art that you appreciate. It is seeking out the unique activities, crafts and skills that you enjoy.
The training zone is where you have a passion and a desire to fulfill a calling but don’t yet have the talent to get you there. This is where you invest in your personal learning, develop new habits, and year-after-year, this area of your live will move into your sweet-spot. Most of us overestimate what we can accomplish in a year but underestimate who we can be in ten years. Just think of where you were then years ago. Did you even imagine that you could be where you are today? I will share some of my personal story in the newsletter.
Life would be great if we do not have to do what we don’t enjoy. Here’s where we are talented and there is a need but we just don’t want to waste our time and effort doing this. I am sure you know what I am talking about. For some, work falls in this zone; chores too. Sometimes though, our personalities “blind spots” or past failures keep our greatness comfortably hidden in this zone. Like Mufassa’s son in The Lion King, we do not want to step into an arena that calls for hard work and sacrifice. What is needed most in this zone is clearly seeing what hinders us and the courage to decide to step into the sweet-spot.
If you are into racquet sports, you know when you have hit the sweet spot. There is a sweet sound. The ball travels faster with less effort. That is what it feels like to live from your sweet spot. You accomplish more with less effort and you feel good about it. You are energized and joyful. With the Circles of Growth, you can identify and enlarge your personal sweet spot. You move from time management to life management.
Subscribe to the newsletter and we will cover each of the seven zones in greater depth each week. Ask questions. I will answer them to the best of my ability and draw upon experts to dive deeper. Over time, more and more of the items in your train and duty zones will move into your sweet-spot. The result is that the sweet-spot eventually takes up most of your life. Start that journey, subscribe now.