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Living the Resilient Life

3 Truths About Being in Alignment and Why You Are [or might be] Frustrated at Work

What would it look like if you had alignment between your passions and work life?

For years, I lived with frustration and dread about the work I was doing. There are varieties of reasons for this:

  • I did not understand what drove me
  • My pursuit of education
  • My personal decisions
  • My lack of mentoring

For a long time, I floated along frustrated by my work. I wondered why I could not find my way into a work life that brought me energy. I moved from job to job, unable to commit to the various places keep I worked. Maybe it is a character flaw, but I cannot keep focus on work I am not passionate about. In the early years after a stint in the Marine Corps, I averaged 18 months at places of employment.

3 Truths About Being in Alignment and Why You Are Frustrated at Work

Passion aligned with work escaped me until I attended seminary. One hallmark of a good seminary education is access to personal assessment tools. When the results are interpreted a person is given a sense of what drives them. Personality traits and passions are identified and suggestions are made as to the career field that matches your personality.

Armed with this information, I could seek work that aligned with what drove me. This journey led to the place where I am today. I have alignment between my work as a Navy Chaplain and my passions.

Everyone should seek a life where their inner passions are lived out in their work life.

What would it look like if you had alignment between your passions and work life? Click To Tweet

When I consider my work and personal life, I see three effects of work life / personality alignment. These three ways are:

  1. Passion
  2. Energy
  3. Contribution

Passion

There is a truism in life. When we are passionate about our work, work doesn’t feel like work. We’re inclined to say, “I can’t believe I’m paid to to do this!” Passion drives us forward. Our work energizes us. Fatigue from work we are passionate about diverges from the fatigue of doing work for which we aren’t suited.

Energy

Passion drives energy, the second effect of work life / personality alignment. We have the greatest energy when we are working in the areas of our greatest strengths. Motivating ourself to do the work is not required. Our whole self is involved in our work. Work that aligns with who we are feeds our soul. We fill ourself up when we do our work.

Contribution

Those who find work life / personality alignment make the greatest contribution. When we are… Click To Tweet

In my work, I often talk with people who aren’t fulfilled in their work. It is true in the military that many young people volunteer for a variety of reasons. And then they stay because it is what they know and where they find security. What is often missing is a passion for their work. Work saps their energy. They sense they’re not making their greatest contribution.

I take these people through a conversation like what you’ve just read. The light in their minds turns on to the possibility of passion, energy and contribution arising from the work they do. In time, living more resilient lives.

Your Turn

The first step toward joining the tribe of people who have passion for their work and who can make their greatest contribution is to tune into your personality. There are two tools buyI recommend to you. The first is DISC (Dominant, Inspiring, Supportive, Cautious). The DISC model points out that those with Dominant and Inspiring characteristics are outgoing. Supportive and Cautious people are reserved. Dominant and Cautious people are task oriented while Inspiring and Supportive individuals are people oriented. There is much more nuance to the DISC model. My point here is that taking a personality inventory is essential in helping you to know what of work will energize and which will drain you.

The second tool is a tool developed by the Gallup organization called StrengthsFinder. The tool is available via an online assessment once you buy the Strengths Finder book. My five top strengths are Maximizer, Intellection, Belief, Ideation, Learner. Maximizer is my top strength. This strength is the reason I thrive in work that allows me to give life guidance such as I get to do as a Navy Chaplain. My strengths of learner, intellection and ideation fit well into the learning required of someone who preaches and teaches (which I do). And belief is important to one who leads others into discussions about spiritual values.

DISC and StrengthsFinder are two among many personality and talent assessment tools. I shared a bit about my results to show you their value related to the alignment I wrote about in this post.

What will you do to join the tribe of people who have work life / personality alignment? Join the discussion in the comment section.

About Gregory

I am a Christ-follower, husband to Vicki and father to Liahna & David. I serve in the Navy as an active duty Chaplain. In my work, I offer spiritual care and religious support to military members. I am a writer, an avid reader, enjoy staying fit and living an active lifestyle. Follow me on Twitter: @chapswoodard. I post once each week here at http://www.gregorywoodard.com.

2 Replies

  1. RhondaPeterson

    Great post, Greg.  Pursuing work that is in alignment with your passion, energizes you and allows you to make your greatest contribution is a great goal.  It maximizes your contribution to the world.  As a fellow maximizer – it's my top strength, too – I can't imagine working for any length of time in a job where I wasn't in alignment.  I believe that's living our life fully, when we're in alignment with who God created us.

  2. chapswoodard

    Rhonda, Thanks for your comment. I believe what I wrote! And I agree that when we are in alignment with who God created us to be – we are fully alive.