Before you tell your life what you intend to do with it, listen for what it intends to do with you. ~ Old Quaker saying

Tools & Resources


How do I Strengthen What i Value, Enjoy, and Love?

21 years ago, I developed the SWiVEL to help individuals to use the power of self-reflection and writing to clarify their path ahead. Writing is meditative process of choosing words that match your thoughts and emotions. It has been gratifying to hear how these questions have helped thousands of people articulate what they want and need in their career and lives. Questions inspire other questions, often better questions that are relevant to you. This is not a test you can ace. It is only as useful as your written answers reflect the truth, the vulnerable truth, of your potential and ambition. The key is writing, re-writing, and re-writing again to find words and phrases that define who you are. Words are tricky things. The right words can capture how you feel. I know, this can be daunting, but once you start writing freestyle, without judgment for your eyes only, you will see yourself.  I have provided a clarifying thought to assist you with each question.

  • Everything flows from these words. Write your manifesto! The key is not to use generic words or phrases such as: I want to be happy” I want to help people” etc. What are the values you live by? Where does your uniqueness come from? What should everyone know about your secret aspirations and/or super powers? Not how you do things, but why.
  • Write! Don't solve this in your mind and in the air. Articulate the difference between getting by and fulfilling your dreams. Without this answer , life happens, versus what you make happen!
  • Do you know your history? The set of circumstances that got you here. What your family and the previous generations did to give you this chance? Find/research a story that helps you understand what drives you and how precious this moment is.
  • Reflecting on our childhood selves can be painful or silly. But to sit back and think about how free you were to consider the possibilities, the majors, the careers. Such an amazing frame of mind! Be honets and playful.
  • Things you want to do that are left undone can become regrets. Something important to you. Something that if you did not do it you would be incomplete as a person. Perhaps a childhood dream. This is not part of a bucket list, but energizing experiences and activities. This is a personal expression of you! A great topic to engage others to help you realize your wish.
  • Yes, happiness is always temporary, yet we focus on this elusive concept. We know the never ending pursuit of "more" is not the answer. This is not a financial question. What will provide you with significance, meaning, and a deep life satisfaction? What do you want?
  • This is a “flow” question. An indicator of things you love to do. You derive a type of joy from this. Provides insights into what makes you tick. Could be the process. Could be for fun. Could be the opposite of your work. If you could do it more, you would. You can talk about this topic for hours. How do you build in more time for this activity?
  • Fear may be the real issue. Fear of failure. Fear of of disappointing others. Fear of the unknown. Fear of change. A truthful answer here could shed light on what you have to pursue. Not just your career, but in your life portfolio of passions and endeavors.
  • Prompts to help you address the elephants in the room. 🙂 How do we get unstuck? Imagining the benefit and the difference. Then the escape route or the solution.
  • This is you the human being. Not competencies, skills, or abilities. Your expression of who you are--for example, your gratitude, kindness, and compassion. Your care for others. Your relationships. Your patience and open mindedness. Your selflessness. Reducing the harm you do. Your support of what is good. Only you know where this work is needed. If you are coming up blank, you need to go deeper. This was my favorite interview question.
  • Balance is a state of mind. And perfect balance is unachievable. Therefore, we are all out of balance. What are the causes of your sense of imbalance? The friction between what you want and what the world wants can cause stress. The pursuit of inner peace is often focused on alignment and adaptability to changing priorities. How do we see this "imbalance" as a defining process of who we are and want to be?
  • We all hope that we will live for a long time. We deceive ourselves. No one knows when their ticket will be punched. Death is scary but we know it is part of the deal. The sooner we accept our impermanence, we can be freed to not defer living and loving.
  • The preceding anwers and questions may have shifted your perspective. No one can help you without a crispy answer. Next year, 5 years, 10 years from now. Describe in as much detail as possible. What role is money, status, and impact driving your ambition? Be honest. What is the story of earning and achieving this goal? If you're serious, then what are you doing to pursue that goal?
  • We all have a relationship or two that bother us, even hold us back. We try to deny it exists or hope it goes away. Reach out to reconnect and take the higher road to reconciliation. Think of a specific person or people who made sure you succeeded. Someone who gave you special support, advice, mentoring and time. They would love to hear how you are doing. Your gratitude will be a great gift and you will be a major recipient. Lastly, think about someone you could assist and share your privilege.


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