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Life and Business Coach

Are You Engaged?

No, I'm not inquiring about your marital status, I'm talking about your career. 

In its second nationwide study, the Gallup Management Survey found that 74% of employees were not engaged in their work. That means there are roughly 100 million people in North America sticking with positions or careers they don't like. 

It's surprising how little media attention this statistic commands.  It's as if the prospect of millions of people settling for positions or careers that slowly sap the life juice out of them is somehow acceptable, perhaps the inevitable collateral damage of living the material dream.  

This I know. It may not be quick.  It's seldom easy.  However, having worked with hundreds and hundreds of people on this topic,  I'm sure you can find a career that engages you.  And when you do, great things begin to happen.

"Most people jump through life, asking what's next, and choosing based on where can they make the most money, what offers the most upside or opportunity.  A conventional "success" story is one where, with each "next", the protagonist has more money, more respect, and more possessions.  I'd like to suggest an alternative "success" story - one where, with each "next", the protagonist is closer to finding that spot where he's no longer held back by his heart, and he explodes with talent, and his character blossoms, and the gift he has to offer the world is apparent." - Po Bronson. (From What Should I Do with My Life? )

The Power of Passion 

If you don't mind living in a cave, or if you've won the lottery, just follow your passions.  You don't need to worry about making a living from it.  For the rest of us, the goal is to find something you love that you can make a good living from.  But how do you do this? What does it take to be fully and productively engaged?  

We can begin to answer this question by looking at what works out there in the real world.  In his book "Good to Great " author/researcher Jim Collins looked at organizations that were extremely successful.  He found that organizations that truly excel are those that have found a way to have their people unite their passions, (the things they truly care about) and their strengths, (the things that they are really good at) in an economic model that they understand and can optimize.  The same principle works for us as individuals.  

To be fully and productively engaged in your career, you need to be working on something you are passionate about. And to be well compensated for your efforts whatever you enjoy doing should be expressed in a position/vocation/business model that leverages your strengths. 

In the diagram below, imagine that each of the three circles represent a very important area to your success; your passions, your strengths and the business model or vocation.  What you are setting out to discover is where these 3 circles intersect and overlap.  That is where all the magic happens. 


How Do I Align My Passions and Strengths
And Still Make My Mortgage Payments?

O.K. you may be thinking, "Sounds good in theory, but how do I do this, and keep food on the table?"

I told you that this wasn't always easy or quick.  But if you want it, are prepared to do a little soul-searching, and take it a step at a time, you can transition from wherever you are, to someplace where you'd much rather be.  In truth this isn't always something you can do by yourself, as you might be too close to your own life to see the limiting beliefs and habits that will tend to keep you where you are.  However in the spirit of getting you oriented here's an overview of the main steps: 

Step 1 - Finding Your Passions.
With my clients I start this process by looking at what they are passionate about, in other words what is it that gets them most excited and engaged in what they are doing.  In coaching we call this fulfillment work, and it involves an exploration of an individual’s “peak” or “flow” moments – those most memorable times in life - to uncover the underlying values. For example some of my key values are creativity, the ability to learn, grow and make a difference and have great relationships with people.  These values must be present in anything I do, if I want to really get enthusiast about it.  

Step 2 - Your Strengths.
Strengths are the next area we work on.  And properly identifying your strengths can be a challenge.  It seems that many of us take our strengths for granted – because they come so easy to us - and focus the majority of our energy trying to shore up our weaknesses.  This can lead to mediocrity.  Finding your strengths involves looking into the activities that come most naturally, where the learning is the most rapid, where glimpses of excellence are routinely seen.  These indicators point to some of the areas where you either are, or have the capacity to be, the best in the world at what you do. 

Step 3 - The Career
The final piece I help clients look at is their business model or vocation.  And here one wants to intimately understand what drives the economic model at the heart of their business.  What is the value you add to your clients/customers/employer?  What is the most productive way to provide it?  What are the key elements you need to manage to optimize this process?   

"Most people go to their graves with their best music inside them."
- Oliver Wendell Holmes

When you have your passions aligned with your strengths, you’re doing what you love and what you are really good at.  You will be happier, more engaged and more productive. Also, you will notice that the traditional boundaries between work and play will blur,  and for a given amount of effort astonishing results are possible. When you couple this energy and enthusiasm and harness it in a viable business model/career, you will see some remarkable progress.  Good things will happen. And you will feel like you are where you are meant to be.

"Life is too short to be little." 
- Disraeli.

Keep well, and be true to yourself,


Life Coach Steve Mitten B.ApSc, CPCC, MCC helps individuals, independents and professionals evolve and make profoundly satisfying and successful changes.

Visit Steve at and sign up for a free coaching consultation.