“A lack of clarity could put the brakes on any journey to success.” -Steve Maraboli

My name is Holly Ridgway. I was a nurse for eight years and was actually in school full-time to further my degree when I took the Birkman. It was then that I came face to face with a truth I had known in my heart for some time…I don’t want to be a nurse.

In fact the only times I was remotely happy or ever excelled at my job as a nurse was when I was working in hospice or working in a private drug and alcohol treatment center. These are the rare instances in nursing where a slower pace and genuine curiosity for others’ emotional states actually makes you better at your job. So was the job better or was I better? Knowing what I know now, I suspect that I was better.

There was more enjoyment for me with less burn-out because I was working in my “zone.”  My Birkman says that I am happier and most effective when I’m in a position to be interactive, thoughtful, emotional, planning, strategizing, listening and connecting. This is not to say that others don’t do these things. But I have done enough Birkman consultations to know that as individuals we CAN do so much, and do it well, but we EXCEL at certain things more so than others.

I have heard it referred to as “zone of genius” in the book The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. This is when you’re “in the zone,” where time stands still so to speak, and it’s the answer to that annoying question everyone will ask you while trying to help you identify your passion and purpose in life: “What do you enjoy doing so much, that you would do it even if all jobs paid the same?”

Human beings have an intense desire to know about their purpose in life that leaves them feeling fulfilled while making a difference in the world.

We search for our life’s purpose through spirituality, careers, family, friends and material possessions trying to pinpoint what we should be doing with our lives that will give our lives meaning and purpose. In the process we are pulled in so many directions by family, spouses, friends, community, career, and of course our ego to do something, anything which might be the “thing” to fulfill our needs…until it doesn’t and then we go on to the next “thing.”

I spent forty years searching for my purpose and wanted more than anything to find my “thing” that made me want to jump out of bed in the morning and do it. Leaving the medical field felt more like a giant leap but I havn’t looked back and I have been happy every – single – day because I was CLEAR.

In contrast, with many I’ve consulted with, they find that they have chosen the right career path but discover their problems stem from ignoring their other needs and interests—meaning, those things we do just for ourselves that fill our cup interpersonally so we can be most effective in our jobs and in our relationships with others. I have found that we can fill in all these missing pieces with the information Birkman provides. It lays out clearly what one’s real needs and interests are with data that is conclusive. When it’s right in front of you on paper, with numbers and graphs, it’s quite a relief because all the noise goes away. It’s just you, and you.

Clarity, at last.