Greenhouse Effect – the key to maximizing your abilities and work enjoyment

For twelve years, I thought a specific thought almost every day. I mean, it wasn’t in specific words like I’m about to write because I was just thinking it to myself. Like trying to recount a dream, it was a bit fuzzy. I probably couldn’t have fully articulated it back then, but now I can.

This was the thought:

“I feel like I spend my best hours every day at this job, that’s a good job, but I’m meant for a bigger purpose, and I’m capable of contributing way more.”

I also thought, “I feel like work should be exciting, but come Sunday night, there’s always a pit in my stomach. It’s like I’m only using 20% of myself in this work, and my passions and strengths are just sitting there untapped. I want work to have meaning, to make an impact, to help people. I want to be rewarded for that impact, instead of restricted from using my passions and abilities. What if I spent the majority of my time utilizing my strengths and passions? I would probably add a lot more value to the world! And what if I made money based on that value? I could probably create amazing opportunities and help more people! Is this unrealistic? Why do so many people act like it is, yet it seems to be how we’re wired?”

All the personality tests say I’m a maximizer and possibilities see-er. With those traits, it’d be easy to write off job dissatisfaction or attribute my unease with simply trying to find a better fit in my current situation. But I knew it was more; it was a massive opportunity I was missing. I saw it as, “You have this ability inside you, so why WOULDN’T you try to work and live right in the bullseye-center of that?!”

And that’s just the point of this post: it’s already inside you.

See, over my 12-year seeking journey, I realized a simple yet game-changing truth. Your purposes, your abilities, your passions, your strengths, your needs, your…Sweetspot – it’s all right there inside you, waiting to be found. Waiting to be set free. Waiting to make the difference it’s made to have in the world.

To be real honest, I had been praying for and waiting for God to write the answer in the sky for me. Some kind of divine Grand Opening – announcing to me what my calling was in life, what I should be when I grow up.

And since no one ever explained to me how this stuff works, I just kept trying to figure it out myself. Come to find out, the answer I was waiting for was already in me.

A couple summers during college, I worked at a big greenhouse. Picture football fields full of beautiful flowers and plants – just thriving. I came in every morning, worked hard, sweat and sometimes even bled. It was pretty physical work.

At some point, I realized that we never actually worked on the seeds or the plants. Instead, we spent our time working on the water, the soil, the temperature, the humidity, the spacing, the arrangement. We spent our time and energy working on the overall environment…the CULTURE.

It was all about creating the right culture. A culture and environment carefully designed to allow the little seeds to sprout, the plants to continue to thrive. A culture and environment intended to encourage growth and allow things to be as they are meant to be…and have the full impact they were ultimately created to have!

We created culture, and thriving happened all on its own.

So there you have it – the simple yet game-changing truth for our careers and our lives. Our Sweetspot is already inside us, like a seed. All we have to do is get intentional. The more we understand it – and create a personal culture and environment around its fundamental needs – the more we can grow and thrive.

I have so much more I want to share about this, but we’ll stop there for now.

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