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Ascend Life Blog #5: Doing The Sweet Work

Daniel Gant


Today I want to talk about doing work that matters to you. I’m going to specifically talk about this in terms of a job but this can also be applied to the things you do for fun or service to others. What I am talking about is doing work in your sweet spot. This is the place where your greatest talents, skills, and gifts are used to make a difference in the things you are most passionate about.

The road to happiness lies in two simple principles: find what it is that interests you and that you can do well, and when you find it put your whole soul into it-every bit of energy and ambition and natural ability you have. - John D. Rockefeller III

When you are doing work or activities that mean a lot to you and allow you to use your gifts and abilities, you will find that the work become less like work and more like play. These are the times when you wish you could keep doing what you were doing. Some people might say they feel like they come alive. This is also a time when you are at your highest level of productivity and do your best quality work.

It is important to note that everything you do can’t and shouldn’t be this. There will always be groundwork, legwork, paperwork, everyday tasks that must be done to then give you the opportunities and the freedom to do the real work you are good at and passionate about. In these times it is important to remember why you are doing the mundane or difficult tasks, and that they are necessary to allow you to do the work that makes you come alive.

Have you ever heard someone talk about their job with enthusiasm or excitement? They talk about loving their work and there are no “buts” that follow. Have you ever felt a bit jealous of them? Maybe you are one of these. That is absolutely wonderful. Keep building on that and you will do great things. Also pour your enthusiasm for work into others around you to inspire them to find their own sweet spot.

Unfortunately this isn’t the case for the majority of people today. According to the article Global Productivity Hinges on Human Capital Development by Steve Crabtree on, for employees worldwide, 85% are not engaged in their job. Crabtree says, “... 85% are functioning below their potential -- in terms of both their value to employers and the sense of fulfillment they derive from their work.”  I want to point out that while some of these people just don’t have good work ethics, a lot of them do but are just not working in their sweet spot.

Imagine for a moment if everyone at your work loved what they did. They thought the work itself was valuable to society and they were able to see that it made a difference in people's lives. In addition, each person was highly gifted in their specific role on the team. Imagine how successful this company would be. Imagine how happy the team would be. Sounds utopian? Maybe a little, but believe it or not it is possible.

In the next post I am going to break down the ideas of talents, abilities, skills, and gifts; the things you are good at. I want to look at some practical ways to determine what these things are. If you are like me, you may have an idea of what your gifts are, but aren’t sure. Maybe you feel like you don’t even have any gifts. This isn’t true. I believe that God created each of us with specific gifts. I believe that each of us has work we are meant to do. It isn’t easy, but I believe that it is extremely important that we do the hard work of discovering what this is.

Would you be willing to just do a little dreaming to set up for the next post? Download the Dreaming Of Sweet Work worksheet to help you get started. What would your life look like if you could work in your sweet spot? If you could do work that you excel at and that truly matters to you, how would that affect your performance? How would this affect your employer’s willingness to compensate you? Would you even care all that much about how well you were paid? One great indicator of your sweet spot is the feeling that you would be happy to do that work for no pay at all. The ironic thing is that doing this work many times is where you actually have the greatest earning potential. Take some time to think through this. Dreams are vitally important to our life. They are vital to living a life of intentionality.

God Bless,


P.s. Take a listen to The Fullest Life podcast from the Ken Coleman Show. This show is all about what we talked about today. I would love to hear your thoughts on Facebook.