Sunday, 29 June 2014

Max Lucado's Cure for the Common Life

I just finished reading Max Lucado's book, which is supposed to help you start to figure out what your strengths are and what you were meant to do with your life. I checked it out of the library because - I admit it - I liked the cover, which has two Labradors snoozing on a couch (okay, it's a shallow reason -- but I do tend to judge books by their covers).

I did the exercises in the back of the book. This is a summary of the results:

"Verbs" I like to do: learning, reading, writing, teaching, walking, pretending, creating, envisioning (seeing what a thing could be)

Topics I enjoy: history, archaeology, animals, home renovation and restoration, antiques, gardening, self reliance, Aboriginal culture

Things that motivate me: solving mysteries, freedom of choice, flexible routine, the unusual and quirky, being the resource or receptacle of knowledge, working in isolation, and if I'm in a group I like to lead

"Sweet" moments from my childhood: acting out the stories in my head in the backyard, reading The Lord of the Rings on the roll-away bed in the carport with my siblings, walking through houses under construction, oil painting with my mom

"Sweet" moments from my adulthood: taking apart the upholstery on my couch and washing it (thus saving a whack of money), speaking to book clubs about my books, teaching Relief Society when the lesson goes well, planting out seedlings I've grown from seed, doodling floor plans and landscape designs

The idea is that you then take these things, search out the themes, and see what you are best at. I think my results show I am best at
  • envisioning
  • designing
  • creating, and then
  • helping others to see that vision.

So what jobs would be the right fit for me? Well, things that occurred to me that would appeal are:
  • taking old overgrown gardens and redesigning them, then bringing order out of chaos
  • Establishing community gardens. Except that doesn't pay.
  • writing screenplays
  • writing both informative articles and fiction stories
  • movie set design and build
  • restoring and repurposing old buildings
  • I like the idea of architecture but it sounds too technical. I want to be the "ideas guy" who doodles the initial concept. So maybe concept design?
  • Raising food for the food bank in my garden. Except that doesn't pay.
  • Somehow teaching fits into all of this too.
So there's me in a nutshell. Some of it I already knew or suspected, but some was eye-opening. And suddenly I understand better my driving need to check out real estate ads. It's all about the envisioning, the populating with stories, the fantasizing about what I could do with the place. Not necessarily about wanting to buy it.

How about you, my readers? (All two of you.) Go check out the book. I'd like to hear from you what your results show.

Meanwhile, I need to think about how I can incorporate more envisioning, designing, and creating in my current employment, which I can't let go of at the moment. I need to see my cubicle not as a sensory-deprivation tank, but as my own personal Parisian garret, or my design studio...

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm... this is a rather more revealing question than I care to delve into, but since you have asked, here is a brief response (just based on your categories / not having read the book) ... I like to - read (anything, but especially sci fi), write (my poetry), listen to music (any kind). Topics I enjoy - the very ancient past & the very unimaginable future. Things that motivate me - (other than the above) spending time with my husband & watching Doctor Who!!!