Why do you do what you do? Rediscover Your "Perfect Passion"–The Perfect Quadrant Framework
"Where you are going, I have already been." -- Antonia Martinez
We all experience reinventions throughout our lives. Learning to walk and talk, puberty, getting your first car, your first job, first love, marriage, babies, these are all reinventions. We become someone new, we function differently and our priorities change with each one. Every story of reinvention begins in the same moment, when the main character allows a simple possibility into their reality--"unless."
"I will remain this same stuck person, unless ... " and in that moment, the reinvention begins.
The Perfect Quadrant" is a 3 part framework that evolved from a personal struggle to answer the question, "why do I do what I do?"
3 - Assess your S.W.O.T -
Strengths | Weaknesses | Opportunities | Threats
then apply Kaizen--good changes
In life and in business, knowing where you're going starts with knowing where you've been--minutes before, it felt like a lifetime ago—barreling down I-10, the wheels barely outpacing my mind. As I neared the curve, I was thinking about mom. She has Alzheimer’s and had been given a drug that had left her in bad shape and no one was able to help her.
Earlier that day I had dropped off my little girls at their first day of school --my youngest just started kindergarten. Happily I had witnessed this amazing milestone and was now driven to meet the task at hand -- to help mom...that was just minutes ago.
And now, I’m hanging upside down, held by the seat belt, unable to comprehend what is happening. I watch a hand push the red button on the seat belt release and I fall to what is the top of the car. Crawling through glass, barefoot, running along the side of the road.... my mind and body seem disconnected... my car is upside down, and crushed against the edge of the curve, it is raining. All I can see is my girls in the car and it is my fault. Is my mind playing tricks on me?
A car passes. I try to flag them down and they just keep going. Suddenly it dawns on me: I'm dead. I run back to my car to see if my body is in there. No body. The next car I flag stops.
Several hours were spent strapped to a board in the emergency room, everyone assuring me I was alone in the car and that I was very lucky to have survived without serious injury. I spent that night alone in a hotel room, angry, sobbing, feeling confused and uncertain. I was completely alone, half way between being home with my girls in Austin and mom in need of help in El Paso. I chose to continue on to help mom but I wasn't the same person who had started on the road the prior day.
Suddenly, everything in my life looked different than it had in the moments, weeks, years, before the accident. Many of us experience these moments, when things seem to go horribly wrong and suddenly everything turns upside down. The things we thought were so important a few minutes ago—being late for the meeting, being slighted by that client, being rejected by a lover, the property tax bill—seem so insignificant that we wonder how we ever mustered so much emotion around them .
After the accident, I felt in Limbo. Earlier that day two people had died on the same slippery curve. I was alive. Why? Life as it had been was gone – and no vision of a future seemed possible although life continued both personally and professionally. After 2 ½ years , I was beginning to fear I would be stuck there forever.
"The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience." --Eleanor Roosevelt
Until I had a chance meeting with an old friend who introduced me to a simple concept that helped me begin to find my way back. It’s called the“Perfect Quadrant.” Everything you do, every task in your business from the vision to the billing, and every task in your life from planning mom’s care to helping with homework, falls in one of four places.
- Hell: This is an area where you don’t really have much skill and you have no love for the work.
- Trap: This is an area where you have a lot of skill and experience, but you no longer have any passion for the work.
- Emerging Heaven: You have yet to develop your skills here, but you love the work and wish you could spend a ton of time doing it.
- Heaven: This is where your skills and your passion meet. This is where your work is brilliant. You rarely get hungry or tired because you’re so charged up by what you’re doing. We want to spend as much of our lives as possible in Heaven. Why wouldn’t we? That’s where we feel alive. That’s where things make sense.
When my reinvention happened, I was spending a lot of time in the Trap; and in Hell. That’s pretty common. Business owner and friend, Steve Golab, who introduced the quadrant to me, actually took his team through this exercise. Introduced to the Perfect Quadrant by Karl Krum, Steve sat down with his team and asked them to identify where the tasks of their work fell in each of their personal quadrants. Then he reorganized his business so that his team spent most of their time doing things they’re passionate about. That was a perspective I could get excited about.
The Perfect Quadrant allowed me to begin to envision possibility in my work life first. Then, as the idea of the quadrant grew I realized I was creating something more, something different. Imagine the power of seeing possibility again in yourself and in your business.
As a creative-left brain, I felt like I’d misplaced my intuitive nature. But once we discovered and began to build our Perfect Quadrant, my business partner, Cindy Orie, and I immediately began to create good changes. We began to learn about ourselves and each other in the work that we shared. We decided it was our desire or our heaven, to help others weave it into their mindset. From that desire sprouted a four part framework, that we’ve renamed the “Perfect Passion Quadrant”, to get them started.
Our next two blogs will show you how to build passion into your life and infuse that passion in you and in how you operate your personal and work life.