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Keep a Journal, But Not Just Any Journal

Good to Great author Jim Collins asked people who felt stuck, "What are born to do? What are you passionate about?" A lot of them would look at him blankly. So he'd explain: As a kid, he was really into science and jotted down observations in lab notebooks. When he grew up, he worked at Hewlett-Packard—a great company—but he just wasn't happy. While he was trying to figure a way out of his situation, he bought a new lab notebook, wrote his name on the front and studied himself as if he were a bug, trying to understand what kind of bug was this thing called Jim. Each night he'd write the answer to this question: When during the day did I feel bored; when did I feel engaged? After a while, he noticed that his favorite moments involved teaching people. So he went off to do that and lived happily ever after. When you start paying attention to when you're at your best (it can take a while to find a pattern), the results can open up unexpected new territory.