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This is a survey that helps people discover their highest values, passions, and talents
Submit your tip and we will review for some language about the process.
Ask people how they liked this exercise. Did it shine light upon their priorities? How did it connect with their time audit (the previous activity)? Did people find that they spend most of their time doing what matters most? Or do they find that they are always busy spending time on things that don’t really count. In other words, do they find that they are killing time? (Thoreau famously said that one could not kill time without injuring eternity. He also said, “It's not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: what are we busy about?”)
The research is clear: We should spend our time in your zone of genius – doing what we love, and playing to our strengths! We will be far more productive and happy.
Of course, some participants will retort that this is difficult, if not impossible. We all have to do a lot of chores that we don’t like, and which we’re not good at. That’s why the statement above is meant to be a north star. People should strive to spend as much time in their zone of genius as possible.
According to MacArthur Genius Angela Duckworth: “Psychologists have found that asking people to reflect in writing on their core values has miraculous effects on motivation.” For example, a study by Stanford Professor Geoff Cohen and UC Santa Barbara Professor David Sherman suggested that having students write about their values significantly increased academic performance, relationships, and health for several months – or even years – afterward! This is similar to findings about the benefits of reflecting on your strengths and talents. As author Tom Rath says, research from Gallup “reveals that people who focus on their strengths every day are six times as likely to be engaged in their jobs and more than three times as likely to have high levels of overall life satisfaction.”
This comes from Becky and Christine Margiotta at the Billions Institute, inspired by Kathryn and Gay Hendricks. We have adapted it slightly here.
Cohen, G. L., & Sherman, D. K. (2014). The psychology of change: Self-affirmation and social psychological intervention. Annual Review of Psychology, 65, 333-371