Every year, as part of our company’s culture, we encourage our team members to come up with a word that will serve as a focusing thought for their year. It’s a habit that I’ve had for a long time now (and have written about previously), but I always love hearing what words our people come up with to help guide them on their journeys.
This year, one of our team members chose the word “expertise” and for this reason: he wants to become the expert of his own life.
Isn’t that interesting?
I’ve occasionally been called an expert on leadership, which means I meet people all the time who want me to tell them how to find their way in life. And while I’m all about adding value to others, even going the extra mile to challenge them to change take control of their personal growth by changing mindsets and habits, what I can’t do is prescribe what any specific person should do.
That’s because each person’s journey to personal growth is different; there are principles and practices that apply to every leader’s journey, but there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to personal development. Only you can decide what’s necessary for your journey.
Only you can be the expert of you.
The good news is, it’s simple to do. When I was a young man, I had someone tell me that if I spent one hour a day studying a topic, within five years I’d become an expert. Over time I went from being intense in my studies to being intentional with my life. It’s made all the difference—so much so that I wrote an entire book about it!
Playing off that idea, here are five areas of personal growth where you should be the expert of your life:
- Purpose—I fully believe everyone has a purpose and lives their best life in service to that purpose. Investing time and thought to identify your “why” is the key to becoming the expert on your life.
- Values—once you know your purpose, knowing what you value most becomes the foundation on which everything else is built. If you don’t set and keep your own values, you’ll always be at the mercy of someone else’s.
- Strengths—it’s good to know what you do well but it’s more beneficial to know what you do best. It’s a process that takes time, but when you really identify your greatest strengths, your ability to be intentional increases significantly.
- Priorities—priorities are a reflection of what is most important to us, so when you know your why, know your values, and know your strengths, you can focus on those things that are in alignment with who you are—and begin to say no to those things that aren’t.
- Wisdom—this might seem out of place, but you’re the best person to know what wisdom you’ve accumulated through your experiences. Of course, the only way you’ll know what wisdom you have to offer is if you’ve evaluated your experiences to see what lessons you’ve learned!
You have so much to offer to the world; but in order to make a difference, to add maximum value to others, you must first take ownership of what makes you, you.
You must become the expert of your life.
Once you see your value and become intentional about adding value through your unique purpose and strengths, you are on your way to transforming the world around you for the better.
And you can trust me on that. I’m an expert!