2021 will be remembered in the business world as the year of the Great Resignation…
But author Jonathan Fields thinks we’re soon going to rebrand it as the year of the Great Regret. That’s what he told me when he came onto the Urban Monk Podcast recently.
Not because capitalistic market forces demand constant growth and acceleration or collapse is imminent… Not because people should stay in jobs where they’re unfulfilled, underpaid, and unhappy…
Simply because it’s more of the same.
What’s our crisis right now? What has been the crisis here in the West, where articles are constantly written about the dogmatic American work ethic? (No doubt you’ve heard the expression Americans live to work, while others work to live.)
We don’t know why we’re doing what we’re doing.
We’re just responding to our basest impulses — gotta eat, gotta pay bills, gotta avoid bad feelings, gotta up the dopamine.
And until we know why we’re doing what we’re doing — chasing jobs or quitting them — nothing’s going to change.
Jonathan Fields is obsessed with this problem. He’s been thinking about it for ages. As a writer, his primary curiosity is what gets people up in the morning… and what makes them keep getting up when times get hard.
We spend so much of our lives working (everyone, not just Americans). It’s valuable to study what people consider worth allocating a huge amount of their and energy to doing.
People say they want meaning and purpose, but without a path, onboarding, or direction… we get mass dissatisfaction and throwing darts at the wall.
That’s what sparketypes are all about.
What Word Did You Just Use?
Okay, so, he made it up.
But basically, he’s talking about the specific impulses that drive a person naturally. When we live in alignment with those impulses, lots of things happen.
We can absorb the blows that come with life better. When we wake up in the morning facing challenges, we’re motivated to meet them with our best work. Hard work, even drudgery, becomes rewarding rather than draining.
The important thing is…
We’re all different.
What makes me spark doesn’t make you spark. What drains my cup might fill yours. And yet we’re all trying to use the same IG platitudes and quote cards to find inspiration — how could that work?
So he set out to create a map of how this all works… How you can take what you know about yourself and your own history and figure out how to apply that to your life.
He’s been researching this for years and years — gathering data from surveys, from clients, from the prototype of the sparketypes — and he’s finally been able to distill it down to 10 impulses that form 10 archetypes for effort.
At this point, more than 500,000 people have provided him with 25,000 data points.
It’s a pretty solid social science.
But data points alone don’t get anybody from point A to point B.
How to Use Your Sparketype
Here’s the thing about what happens once you take the survey… You’re not really surprised.
At least, almost no one he’s talked to who’s taken the survey is surprised. You mostly already know the answers, because on some level, you do know yourself. But because of values around conformity, or belonging, or financial reasons, or the power of momentum, or whatever your block is…
They’ve not led with that critical truth about themselves, even if they knew it. Once it’s confirmed for them in black and white…
Most often, they report feeling seen.
And stuff starts to shift.
Finally, you have the answers — you know why you hate your job, find this task absolutely unbearable and avoid it at all costs, or can’t motivate yourself to strive for that promotion even though you know how to get it.
And there’s enormous power in that.
We get into so much during this podcast, but I’ll let you listen. You’ll learn about:
- Why he considers 9/11 a turning point for him in terms of living connectedly…
- Why it’s way more important to understand what to say YES to than what to say NO to…
- How the three components of sparketypes combine to give you a complete picture of your strength, service strength, and draining factor…
- What the five components of a sparketype strength are…
- How the pandemic has made knowing your sparketype even more vital…
- The ways in which our worldview of the workview is changing irrevocably…
- And more.
Before you make any major decisions!