Find Your Area of Destiny

The third part of The Real-Life MBA by Jack and Suzy Welch focuses on one's career development and even includes a section on how to figure out what you're meant to do. 

I've read plenty of books on finding your calling, passion, life's work, etc. The system explained in this book is finding your Area of Destiny (AOD).

The way this is described is to consider two parallel roads. One is your strengths—the things you are really good at; the other are your passions—the things you love doing. Where the two roads intersect is your AOD and where you are meant to find work.

If you can figure out the jobs/careers that are at the intersection of your strengths and your passions, not only will you be happy and be able to succeed, work will also be something you look forward to and not a chore. This is what both Jack and Suzy Welch have found and what they want to help others find. The chapter includes stories of people fortunate to find their AOD, even if as a second career or later in life.

A similar concept to AOD was presented by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha in The Startup of You. Instead of as parallel roads, they have them as intersecting circles and add a third one: market reality. It's not enough to know your assets (aka strengths) and aspirations (aka passion), but the market has to actually be willing to pay for it, otherwise you won't get far.

Although I'm certain the third factor is implied in the AOD system, it's good to spell it out to help keep one's thinking practical. This also answers those that are against following one's passion since they argue it won't pay the bills. The Welches, Reid, and Ben show that it is possible to do both, although not easy to find that intersection.

Since we spend so much time at work, having it be something we enjoy instead of the alternative is worth spending effort on. And personally having had jobs on both ends of that spectrum, I can attest to the difference it makes not only in your work, but in your life and health.

Do you know your Area of Destiny? 

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