Michael Hyatt, in Creating Your Personal Life Plan, wrote that many people spend more time planning their vacation than they do their own life.
I went through a class called "Discovery | Finding Your Place In God's Plan" by Gateway Church. I thought I would share some tools and insights I picked up for myself. In so doing, I hope to help provide you with tools to make your own discovery.
Self Discovery ToolsIf I'm going to make an impact on this planet, and not just stumble along blindly in life. I'm going to need to become very clear why I am here, and what God's purpose for my life is.
If God had no purpose for our being here, He could just zap us on home moments after we are saved.
So here are some practical tools I've been using to attempt to begin to answer the question:
"Why am I here?"The following are the various tools I used in the discovery process. The results are specific to me, but may give you an idea of what you could expect from each tool. Pick the ones that pique your interest, or gradually work through all of them.
Note: Not everything every assessment ever says will ring true to you. That's perfectly normal. Just use these tools as part of your process, and take note of the things that jump out at you as true and real. Those items that resonate with you.
My mind is a world of ideas; where each idea triggers other ideas. As an author by nature, creative writer by preference; I enjoy exploring abstract and theoretical concepts and idea, as I seek to alleviate the pain points of the disenfranchised, providing them the concepts they need to grow and gain traction in their walk with God. I see the universe as a giant puzzle. Each fact found, each piece of information, interesting on it's own, but fascinating as it relates to the whole
Gallup Top 5 Strengths Finder Results:
Note: Strengths Finder's is a paid test; however, you can get your top five for only about $10.00. If you are just starting your journey, that's all you need. You may want to go back someday and pay more to get the rest of your list, but the top five is what you'll be talking about with people, and thinking most about.
- Introspective Thinker who enjoys a good intellectual conversation.
- Write Journal
- Constant satisfaction in learning new facts, skills, and beginning a new area of study. No topic is off limits, and the process of learning, rather than the result, is the only aim.
- Embrace new technologies and opportunities to learn something new.
- Derive energy from a new concept of idea. I revel in taking the world we all know and turning it around so people can view it from a strangely enlightening angle.
- Write Journal, process ideas into clear thoughts before communicating them to others.
- I take immense satisfaction in being productive and accomplishing things. The day must not end, without accomplishing something.
- I must learn to take breaks, and enjoy the success of a job well done.
- I take joy in knowing more... about anything and everything. I am a sponge for new, interesting, curious, or even strange information.
- I will journal, write, and store this information to pull up and use another day.
Meyers Briggs / 16 Personality Types (E/I - S/N - T/F - J/P)
I tested as an INFJ, with a slight preference to the Feeling end of the Feeling/Thinking spectrum.
*Because my F/T preference is slight. It was interesting to also explore the INTJ also, and take notes of the items that stuck out for both. The longer I've read both, INFJ rings truer every time.
INFJ - Primary | Passionate Idealist | Meaningful Work | Work Alone | Avoid Spotlight
The INFJ personality type is very rare, making up less than one percent of the population, but they nonetheless leave their mark on the world. They have an inborn sense of idealism and morality, but what sets them apart is the accompanying Judging (J) trait – INFJs are not idle dreamers, but people capable of taking concrete steps to realize their goals and make a lasting positive impact.
INFJs are likely to find that most corporate career paths are not designed for them, but for those focused on status and material gain. This doesn’t mean that people with the
INFJ personality type struggle to see viable options though. In fact, they are likely to face the opposite problem – many INFJs struggle to begin a career early on because they see ten wildly different paths forward, each with its own intrinsic rewards, alluring but also heartbreaking, because each means abandoning so much else.
This is the most rewarding option for INFJs, as they will step out of the overly humble supporting and noncompetitive roles they are often drawn to, and into positions where they can grow and make a difference. INFJs often pursue expressive careers such as writing, elegant communicators that they are, and author many popular blogs, stories and screenplays. Music, photography, design and art are viable options too, and they all can focus on deeper themes of personal growth, morality and spirituality.
INTJ - Secondary | Relentless Intellectualism | Thirst for Knowledge | Nothing is Impossible
It's lonely at the top, and being one of the rarest and most strategically capable personality types, INTJs know this all too well. INTJs form just two percent of the population. It is often a challenge for them to find like-minded individuals who are able to keep up with their relentless intellectualism and chess-like maneuvering. People with the INTJ personality type are imaginative yet decisive, ambitious yet private, amazingly curious, but they do not squander their energy.
With a natural thirst for knowledge that shows itself early in life, INTJs are often given the title of "bookworm" as children. INTJs will often find ways to automate routine and mind-numbing tasks, and as they progress, their natural confidence, dedication, and creative intelligence will open the doors to the increased complexity and freedom they crave.
INTJs tend to prefer to work alone, or at most in small groups, where they can maximize their creativity and focus without repeated interruptions from questioning colleagues and meetings-happy supervisors. For this reason INTJs are unlikely to be found in strictly administrative roles or anything that requires constant dialogue and heavy teamwork.
Rather, INTJs prefer more "lone wolf" positions as mechanical or software engineers, lawyers or freelance consultants, only accepting competent leadership that helps in these goals, and rejecting the authority of those who hold them back.While they don't care for the spotlight, INTJs do enjoy controlling their ideas, and will often expand into low-profile but influential roles as project managers, system engineers, marketing strategists, systems analysts, and military strategists.
Strengths Deployment Inventory (SDI)This test can be explained in some detail here. This tests behaviors within group environments. How people react to each other. Generally people will be either Red, Blue, Green, or some variation of these.
The way I learned it; Red is the Bulldozer (Win/Get'r Done). Blue is the Ambulance (How can I help?). Green is the Submarine (Organizers, Process Creators, Excel Geeks).
The test plots on a large triangle, dividing into the one of each of the three colors on each side. Most people tend to test as a blend of two more than the third.
- Altruistic–Nurturing (Blue),
- Assertive–Directing (Red),
- Analytic–Autonomizing (Green),
- Flexible–Cohering (Hub),
- Assertive–Nurturing (Red-Blue Blend),
- Judicious–Competing (Red-Green Blend),
- Cautious–Supporting (Blue-Green Blend).
HUB - The School Bus. Community Glue. "Can't we all just get along?"
The HUB personality is someone who tests nearly equal in all three area (at the center of the triangle). This person can take on any of the three major character traits, whichever is most needed in the group setting.
- HUB personalities test in the center of these three. Displaying all equally. Rarest of the bunch, a HUB can become the missing link.
- Whichever side is most needed, the HUB will fill that gap. However, the one distinctive force, will be the HUB's drive for unity.
- HUB's know how all the others think and feel, instinctively.
- HUB's will work to bring everyone together.
D.I.S.C Inventory: C -Conscientiousness.
Take the DISC assessment here. The disc assessment divides the personality traits into Outgoing (D/I) and Reserved (S/C) and then divides again into People Driven (I/S) and Task Driven (D/C). All people will likely score some in each of the four quadrants. The test then shows "The Real You" and the "The way you behave".
C: Biblical Character LUKE. Positive: Listens to Suggestions. Time to Think. Organized. Opportunity: Moody (Not Optimistic).
I show a strong preference toward the C in both inward tendencies, and outward behaviors. I also show some leaning in the D. I behave more S than I am. VERY little in the I. It is recommended that you take a look at all four, and speak about yourself in terms of your top two.
People with the C style place an emphasis on working conscientiously within existing circumstances to ensure quality and accuracy.
When communicating with the C style individual, focus on facts and details; minimize "pep talk" or emotional language; be patient, persistent and diplomatic.
People with the D style place an emphasis on shaping the environment by overcoming opposition to accomplish results.
When communicating with the D style individuals, give them the bottom line, be brief, focus your discussion narrowly, avoid making generalizations, refrain from repeating yourself, and focus on solutions rather than problems.
UniquelyYou.Org Spiritual Gifts Assessment
- Teaching (40/40)
- Prophecy / Perceiving (38/40)
- Leadership (38/40)
- Encouraging / Exhorting (38/40)
- Scripture Reader
- Leadership Roles
Christians with the Gift of Teaching prefer explaining why things are true. While the prophet declares truth, the teacher explains the reasons why it is true. Interested in research, those with the Gift of Teaching like to dig into seemingly insignificant details. They enjoy presenting what they discover. Often negligent of the needs of others, they press toward a deeper understanding. They love to study. Searching patiently and persistently, they may miss the obvious. They stretch the limits of learning, setting high standards of education.
In a word: In-depth
Overuse: Digs too deep
Goal: Reveal truth, don't exhaust it
Scripture: Rom. 12:6,7b; Col. 3:16; Jam. 3:1; 2; 2 Tim. 2:2
Prophecy / Perceiving
As with the Prophets of old, today people with the Gift of Prophecy seem to have the same seriousness and straight forward attitude toward truth. They like to share truth, regardless of what anyone thinks. Prophets today are motivated to confront anyone with what they believe is right. When controlled by the Holy Spirit, the Gift of Prophecy is a powerful tool to reprove, rebuke and exhort others. Prophets often find themselves pointing the way, declaring specific truth or standing up for something significant.
In a word: Bold
Goal: Declare truth, don't divide Christians
Scripture: Ph. 4:7,11; 1 Cor. 14:1,3; 2 Pet 1:19-21
The Gift of Leadership, much like the Gift of Administration / Ruling, is evident in those who demonstrate an unusual ability to influence others. They seem to have an independent determination to challenge and direct others toward a specific goal. They stand out and take stands. Those with the Gift of Leadership tend to be multi-talented excelling with their people and tasks skills. Often result-oriented and driven, they need to guard their strengths. They also need to be more sensitive and patient with those who don't respond as well or positive as they. They are great motivators.
In a word: Dreamer
Overuse: Too demanding and impatient
Goal: Lead by example and willingness to be a servant
Scripture: Rom. 12:6,8c; John 13:13-17; Heb. 13:17
Encouraging / Exhorting
Christians with the Gift of Encouraging find themselves exhorting others. They are compelled to give advice. As counselors, they seem to often have steps of action. While Prophets declare truth and Teachers clarify truth, Encouragers / Exhorters like to tell you what to do with truth. They bless others with a strong sense of concern. Often looking to encourage others, they are sought out as counselors. People find Encouragers friendly, understanding and practical. They enjoy using their communication skills to share specific insights.
In a word: Encourager
Overuse: Talks too much
Goal: Apply truth, don't create expectations
Scripture: Rom. 12:6,8; Acts 11:23-24; Heb. 10:24-25
Encourager (here): The gift of exhortation is often called the "gift of encouragement." The Greek word for this gift is Parakaleo. It means to beseech, exhort, call upon, to encourage and to strengthen.
Discuss ONE experience for each of the following:A Rewarding Ministry Experience.
Once, when leading a group for the Christian Club on Campus, at College of the Desert, I (and the group) laid hands on a young lady, and she received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other tongues. That was the first moment I saw that something bigger than me was possible. God really could use me... it frightened me, as much as it thrilled me.The idea still makes me hesitate. Like Moses before the fire, I often find myself saying "Lord... I don't speak well... send someone else." Yet there is this fire that pushes me to continue.A Gratifying Personal Achievement.
Publishing Banking Basics for Believers. A woman I didn't know, was informed by a friend of mine to read it. I gave her a copy, my gift. She said that it helped her personally and professionally understand money in a new way. When she read it, she was doing the very same job I had been doing when I started writing it. She felt that it should be mandatory reading for her fellow employees. What an amazing circular experience.A Touching Relationship Experience.
Hearing my wife (to be at the time) pray in tongues for the first time. It was the first time I found out that praying in tongues still existed. Before her, I thought it had either died centuries ago, or was happening in some remote monastery. When I heard her, my world opened wider than ever before. I knew I needed more of whatever she had.A Tremendously Difficult Life Experience.
My Pastor-Father came out as an Alcoholic Atheist, later turned Crack Addict, then Psychologist. Parents Divorced. World crashed down. I struggled with identity for those first few years. But as I look back now... I struggled with identity for years before too. As a child I'd seen Jesus with my own eyes, and a demon too. Yet I grew up in this frozen-chosen religious traditional church, full of people who wouldn't know God if he walked up and said hello. There were precious few born again people in those churches, and even fewer Spirit Filled ones. So I was always torn between the life of the supernatural I experienced around me, and the dead religiosity of the people around me. So as I look back... it wasn't an event that changed me... it was an event that crystallized the experiences of my youth, and forced me to choose which world I would live in: Spiritual or Natural.
Interests and Passions
What are some of the things you enjoy doing/being? Just spit out the words as they come to mind.
Writing, Blogging, Internet (HTML/CSS), Reading Non Fiction, Reading Fiction, Study, Learning, Reading anything I get my hands on. Gardening. Soda. Cheeseburgers. Cooking. Discovery Channel. Science Fiction. Prophecy (End Times). Addiction/Recovery Topics. Finances. Personal Growth. Calling and Purpose.
Those were the results from my discovery assessments. Now go try yours, click on the links in each section and take your own tests. Write Me@DarrellWolfe.com to tell me how it went.
Darrell Wolfe, Topos Consultant