Last weekend I went to the movie, The Rise of the Guardians, with my six year-old niece. She gave it two thumbs up, but she usually gives any movie we see on the “big screen” that rating. In this case, though, I must admit I agree with her. This movie has stayed with me. Although the main plot of the movie was your typical fight between good and evil, the second storyline about a character trying to find his purpose in life captured my attention.
In one scene, Santa Claus “a.k.a. North” asks Jack Frost, “What’s your center?” When Frost is confused by the question, North explains to him that just like those old Russian Dolls that have the little dolls hidden within, each of us has a center or purpose inside of us. Your center isn’t a job, daily responsibilities, or long-term goals. Rather your center is the real reason why you are here, why you exist. Dick Richards, the author of Is Your Genius at Work?, calls this center your “genius.”
So how do you discover your center or genius in life? I will admit there are many ways to do this and I have tried several of them, but one of the simplest processes I can give you is below. For some of you, this may take 20 minutes, for others maybe an hour. What I have found is that the more open you are to this process, the quicker it will work for you.
Step 1: Find a quiet place, free of distractions and interruptions.
Step 2: Take out a blank sheet of paper or open up a Word document on your computer.
Step 3: Write/type at the top, “What is my center or genius in life?”
Step 4: Write/type an answer (any answer) that pops into your mind. It doesn’t have to be a complete sentence—it’s fine if it’s just a word or short phrase.
Step 5: Repeat step 4 until you write the answer that makes you swell up with tears. This is your center.
As you go through this process, you may find that some of your answers are very similar and these might be clues to a common theme, which means you are getting warmer. Continue to list whatever answers pop into your head. Push past the feeling of resistance and wanting to quit. Don’t give up, just keep writing.
When you find your own unique answer to the question why you’re here, you will feel it resonate with you deeply. The words will energize you and bring a smile to your heart. I remember when I discovered my center which is to “unleash hope” things just started to make sense and my life started to become clearer. That is why I enjoy writing this blog or speaking to groups because for me those are ways to unleash hope—to encourage, energize, and equip people to live stronger.
Discovering your center is the easy part, the hard part is living it out to the point where you become that purpose. So if you find yourself with nothing to do this weekend, go see the movie, The Rise of the Guardians. It might be just what you need to get you started on the path to finding your center.
To find out more about the employee assistance programs, training, and consulting services offered by The Village Business Institute, go to www.thevbi.com.
As an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Trainer with The Village Business Institute, Dawn Kaiser lives her passion–to energize, encourage, and equip others to live stronger. She draws on more than 12 years of experience in the Human Resource/Organizational Development field, a Bachelors of Business Administration from the University of MN Duluth and a Masters of Education from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is also a certified HR Professional.