Knowing who you are, and being that version unapologetically, is the cornerstone to being happier version of your best self.
After all, it is the inimitable Dolly Parton who said:
Knowing who we are is a life-long journey. After many years in HR, I get asked regularly for input on personal branding, self-assessments and professional development resources.
Below are my personal top 5* go-to recommendations for anyone trying to be more of themselves this year:
- VIA Character Strengths Assessment: Focusing on your strengths is a more fun – and sustainable – approach to personal development. This quick, 15-minute assessment will give you a lot of easily digestible information framed positively. Rather than focusing on strengths-at-work, the assessment focuses on helping you “discover the good in you”.
- Carla Harris’ Expect to Win, Proven Strategies from a Wall Street Vet: Imagine you had a trusted mentor in your pocket who was willing to share her hard-won experience and life-lessons. That’s what this easy to read, well-organized book is. I’ve quoted it at least once a month to someone since I read it almost 10 year ago. Carla’s practical wisdom holds up and is actionable.
- The Four Tendencies, by Gretchen Rubin. This is a two-fer: both a book and a quiz. Understanding how you respond to both external and internal expectations can be useful in understanding why you act…and why you don’t.
- Chris Guillebeau’s The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest that Will Bring Purpose to Your Life: Ignore super lofty title – Chris writes about having a personal goal, big or small, can bring about a happier life. It could be finishing a quilt or traveling to every country in the world. Through interviews with questers, he’s uncovered stories about how it really is the journey that matters.
- Passion Planner: Studies have shown that writing something down – actually putting pen to paper – has an impact on our how we internalize information. I use this paper-based planner to both set goals and keep myself on track to making progress against those goals every week. I like this planner because there’s space for both work and personal goals and to-dos: it’s one place both integrate and balance the demands on my time.
Just for kicks, there is the Official Pottermore Hogwarts Sorting Hat quiz.
And, if Dolly doesn’t feel serious enough for you, turn to Aristotle instead, who tells us that “knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom”.
** These are my personal favorites. You know, the views and opinions expressed above are mine alone and do not reflect any official position … and so on.