People who successfully tackle big problems are often driven by a specific event or time in their lives when they felt compelled to act. These “moments of obligation” can drive you to start working on a problem, and keep at it when you might feel like giving up. They help us shape meaningful careers and lives.
Here’s how to recognize your own mission-defining moment:
• It’s strong.
The experience will invoke intense feelings. The moment itself doesn’t necessarily need to be dramatic, but what it brings up in you is.
• It’s personal.
Moments of obligation are often connected to your own experiences, or the experiences of people you care most about.
• It takes hold.
These moments often scream for your attention, creeping into your mind when you are minding your own business — sitting on the couch, watching TV, or trying to sleep.
Adapted from “Find Your Moment of Obligation,” by Lara Galinsky.