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You’re weird. Now, please don’t take that the wrong way. I mean it as a compliment. I mean it like “you’re weird, unique, special, different, stand-out, fabulous”.
Not only are you weird but, today, I am going to introduce you to your “wyrd” (pronounced - you guessed it - weird)…
I am currently reading “Love + Work” by Marcus Buckingham. I’m a big fan of Marcus because he is a veritable GURU of strengths. He’s worked in strengths for over 20 years and was a foundational creator to the Clifton StrengthsFinder (a world renowned Strengths Profile assessment). Not only that but he’s a researcher which makes his work grounded in fact and data. What’s not to love? [geek out over].
An idea that really stood out for me at the beginning of this book is that institutions (schools, universities, companies) treat us, our whole lives, as it we are empty vessels. The assumption is that we arrive empty and that they need to fill us up with skills, knowledge, experience, learning, development, etc. And they fill us up with what they perceive we ‘need’ in order to get good grades or to fit a role specification.
Because we spend so much of our lives being ‘filled up’ with other people’s notions, it’s no wonder we end up not knowing who we are and unhappy at work.
But we are not empty vessels, we are each a personal blend of uniqueness. And THAT is your wyrd.
In the book, Buckingham talks about this ancient Norse term Wyrd (pronounced 'weird'). Everyone has a Wyrd and it is a distinct spirit, unique to you, that guides you to love some things and to hate others.
Whilst the concept of Wyrd is spiritual, Buckingham points to what we now know scientifically to explain how enormously unique each of us is.
The genes of our parents come together to create a network of synapses in the brain which is completely different to anyone else's. Because we have one hundred billion neurons and each of them makes at least a thousand connections with other neurons, we learn that our brain has more connections in it than five thousand Milky Ways.
"This is the true extent of your individuality, the size of your Wyrd"
Your Wyrd is the stuff you instinctively love. If you can get to know your Wyrd, it can help you to thrive.
Why this concept speaks to me so vividly is because it celebrates the fact that we are all completely different from each other; a difference that transcends gender, ethnicity, age, etc. This is why I always get my clients to start with a period of self-discovery before looking at their career possibilities. Get familiar with their Wyrd, if you like.
Your Wyrd will mean that you love different things to other people, that goes without saying. BUT your Wyrd also means that you will love things in a different way. What does that mean?
Well, my Wyrd might mean that I love being a coach because it helps me to do stuff I love like listening, supporting and enabling others. Someone else's Wyrd might mean that they love being a coach because it helps them feel important and they love the status and prestige that it offers. We have very different Wyrds but they may lead us down the same pathway.
In the same way, my love of listening, supporting and enabling others might lead me to be a carer, a teacher, an environmentalist, a farmer, a massage therapist, a psychiatrist, a doctor, a lawyer ....
Rather than trying to fit you in a box or treat you as an empty vessel, your Wyrd opens up infinite possibilities. It doesn't mean that you are best suited to ONE type of career. It means that you are best suited to MULTIPLE careers and that you will find fulfilment by doing something in your own, weird, way.
So today I am celebrating my Wyrd and your Wyrd. Let's embrace it and use it as our guide to open up possibilities and not be put in a box.
If you'd like to take the first step towards discovering your Wyrd, why not start by identifying some of your energising strengths (loves) by downloading the Free Strengths Energy Boost.
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