Quick story: A big guy applies for a job moving furniture. The foreman gives him a test saying, “Ok, go load this dining table in to that truck.” The big guy stares at the huge oak table and replies, “You’re crazy. I can’t move that thing by myself.” The foreman smiles and says, “You’re hired.”
That big guy understood some very important ingredients we all need for a rewarding life:
A. Understand what a person, place, thing or situation requires of us.
B. Knowledge of what we have to work with (inner and outer resources).
C. Recognize when A + B is a good match or “fit”.
If you are miserable in a job, in a relationship, in a whatever, it comes down to fit. Allergic to cats but your new love interest owns seven of them? BAD FIT. Cry every day when you get home because you hate your job? BAD FIT. You get the picture. But it is not that A or B is wrong. It’s more a square-peg/round-hole situation. So, where’s the best place to start in this assessment of fit?
“Know thyself!” This is a universal and timeless nugget of wisdom for a reason. Any journey toward a rewarding life starts here. Learn who you are – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually – by studying yourself. Don’t be nervous, there are no wrong answers. Explore what makes you tick, embrace your imperfections and identify what environments allow your best self to shine. The better you understand yourself, the sooner you recognize (and side-step) a bad fit when it presents itself. And this, beautifully, frees you up to pursue what truly fits.
Also, if you noticed in the opening example, all that work reaps benefits. The foreman was looking for someone who knew his limits and set healthy boundaries – and hired him. In upcoming articles I will share some ideas about working toward self-knowledge. Get ready. It’s the most rewarding work you’ll ever do. And the most humbling.