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start the timer and dump your thoughts in this area without interruptions for the full timer length. Go through what you've done, what you've thought, what you're struggling with, anything that comes to mind, let your consciousness flow uninhibited. Basically let out everything that’s been weighing you down or making you feel on cloud-nine and everything in between until you feel like you’ve gotten everything out.
conclude what you've learned, where you're doing well, what you're doing poorly, what you should focus on improving or changing, what you need to keep thinking about, how your principles/perspectives have updated
Fill out these thought starters as much as you feel like it (credit to
Which qualities of people around me do I admire, and how can I learn from them? Seeing is believing. If a colleague does something that leaves you thinking, Damn, I wish I could do that— maybe its the simplicity and elegance of their design work; maybe its their attention to detail; maybe its the compelling way they make arguments— count your lucky stars that you get to see them work that magic and that you have the opportunity to learn from them. Admiration doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can appreciate a particular skill or trait without admiring everything about a person. Make a list of those qualities, and then ask yourself how you might get better at them. Can you ask that person to give you feedback? Can you request that they deconstruct their process? Can you make notes of their specific tips and tricks?
How can I find out more about my likes and dislikes? It’s perfectly natural to respond to a question like “What am I meant to do with my life?” with I have no f-ing clue right now. You can’t rush discovering the answer; it’ll emerge in its own time, through first-hand experience with the kind of work that gives you the greatest satisfaction. But what you can do is put yourself in situations where you’re constantly testing new scenarios and learning about yourself in the process. These experiments might not all be successful, but think of Thomas Edison, who said, “Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.” You may try things and learn that you despise certain tasks but love others — this is what self-discovery looks like. if you don’t get out of your comfort zone, it will take you much, much longer to find your true calling.
What things gives me energy, and what sucks away my energy? This is is a simple reflection question to contemplate at the end of a month, quarter or year that is a baby step towards answering the much bigger existential question of “What am I meant to do with my life?” Simply observe which activities give you energy and feel rewarding, versus what make you feel heavy and discouraged. Don’t react or change your actions based on a particular month or quarter’s answer; narrowing your area of opportunity too quickly is limiting. Instead, note them and jot them down. What’s valuable is understanding the larger trends or patterns over the years — I am energized by people who take their responsibilities seriously and share my optimism in the future — not specific examples like I don’t enjoy working with Taylor.
What are my unique strengths and growth areas? Like the question above, this is an important reflection question to understand yourself better. Make note of your strengths, but don’t ignore your weaknesses — instead, focus on improving them to establish a better foundation for the future. Continue to broaden your field of experiences, but periodically take stock of what things come naturally to you, and what you struggle more with.
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