Discovering Your Giftedness

A Step-By-Step Guide


More examples of Circumstances

Remember: Circumstances are about the environment in which you did your activity and the conditions affecting how you did it. Circumstances may not be as easily discernible in your stories as abilities and subject matter. But as you evaluate each story, ask, yourself: what were the surrounding conditions in which i was operating?

• “The place was packed. I was really nervous to have to get up in front of all this people, but once I started speaking, I just relaxed.” (audience)

• “It was down to the final sixty seconds of the game and we were trailing by seven points. I knew I'd have to get a three-point basket right away if we had any chance of making a comeback.” (competition)

• “So there I was. A busted ski, dusk coming on pretty rapidly, and at least a mile of heavy snow to wade through to get off that mountain.” (difficulties, obstacles)

• “The instant I delivered the  punchline, the whole class burst into laughter. I loved fit!” (immediate response)

• “As a team we met daily for two weeks. Every day we added new sections to the curriculum, with everyone making recommendations and all of us evaluating everyone's ideas. By the end of that time we had it all put together, and when we presented it to our boss, she loved it. The company's been using it ever since.” (team, project, finished product)

• "It was very buttoned-down shop, I guess you'd say. Everyone knew their role and responsibilities. The schedule was strictly followed. You knew exactly what you were supposed to do, and when. You knew who to report to. I think we had very few problems as a result, and that made it a lot easier for me to get my work done, since I didn't ever have to worry about someone messing up the plan.” (structure, order)

• "I would have never understood it without Professor Glenn. He was this brilliant teacher who knew how to make the material interesting and engaging. I used to spend a lot of time outside of class interacting with him, in order to get my mind around the material.” (a modeling individual, a mentor)

• "My folks had this clock that didn't work anymore. They were talking about buying a new one, but I thought, 'Hey, I can fix this.' So i took it apart and fixed it.” (problem)

• "We were all out there in the town square singing Christmas carols as the snow was falling and they were lighting the tree. It just felt great to see everyone—children, parents, grandparents, young and old—all joining together in one big moment of joy.” (community)

• "I let Frank and his guys do all the announcements and shaking hands and such. I was just fine being back in that tent answering the phone, counting the receipts, and keeping track of the schedule.” (behind-the-scenes)

• "Well, I mean, you had kids without coats or mittens, and parents without underwear or socks. Some of them didn't even have shoes. We just had to do something!” (needs)

• "Well, once I'd implemented the system and the new standards, things turned around right quick. Customer complaints trailed off,. wait times plummeted, and satisfaction ratings went through the roof.” (effectiveness, improvement, things working)

• "I knew what nobody else seemed to understand, which was that within five years that sleepy corner was going to be at the center of activity. So what else could I do but buy some land there.” (potential)

• "Once I and the other candidates were nominated, we had to run our campaigns and hold a debate. When the votes came in, I and another guy had the most votes, but neither of us had what we needed to win outright. So it went to a runoff.” (political)

• "Well, you see that property wasn't owned by just one party. It was actually a whole bunch of owners who each owned little pieces and segments of the property. One guy owned the building, but someone else owned the parking lot. There was someone else who had a contract saying he held sway over the easement. Someone else had twenty-five square feet where a shed had once stood. It was a legal nightmare, that's for sure! And it took me a year to untangle all of those pieces.” (complexity)