Your Personal Inventory

  • Characteristics,
  • Skills,
  • Knowledge, and
  • Preferences.

Strengths

It’s always invigorating to begin this kind of inventory by checking your core productivity and success tools.

  • What can you do well?
  • In what areas have you accumulated a significant amount of knowledge?
  • What useful skills and abilities can you bring to a task?
  • What qualities do other people often look to you for?

Joys

Strengths and joys tend to merge and blend together. Why? Because people often get pleasure from what they can do well, and because they often go out of their way to develop above-average abilities to do something they enjoy.

  • Do you relish any hobbies?
  • Do certain mental, physical, or social activities attract you?
  • When and where do you most often lose track of time?

Weaknesses

It’s more difficult, but equally important to consider any characteristics that are not among your strengths:

  • Are there situations or chores that you intentionally avoid or put off?
  • What tasks or responsibilities do you willingly leave to others?
  • What tasks or skills do you most often need help with?

Opportunities to Improve

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your opportunities for improvement are the same as your weaknesses. There may be weaknesses you’re not interested in improving. There may be strengths you’d love to boost toward even higher levels.

Sources of Happiness

With luck, this can be a long list. Feel free to include as many sources of happiness as you wish. For purposes of boosting your productivity and success, however, it’s best to focus on discovering those that are mostly under your control.

Sources of Unhappiness

Same deal as above, but this time focus on discovering those sources of unhappiness you can mostly avoid without causing problems for yourself or anyone else who depends on you.

Look for Patterns and Clues

With all this information now clearly and explicitly laid out, you can more easily spot clues as to:

  • Who you are — what characteristics best describe you?
  • What nurtures you — what activities and experiences help you feel better, encourage you to new efforts, and perhaps even support your growth?
  • What starves you — what activities and experiences drive your emotions downward, sap your motivation, and perhaps even shrink you?
  • Move through your work and life,
  • Make choices,
  • Put forth efforts, and
  • Generate results.

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Robert Moskowitz

Robert Moskowitz

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Robert Moskowitz is a successful, award-winning writer and consultant, and the author of “How to Organize Your Work and Your Life.”