What if none of these feels like they're me? What if I am "The Outlier?!"
If you're reading this, apparently your Sparketype Assessment agrees. You, my friend, are "a Special Case" we call The Shapeshifter.
The Shapeshifter isn't actually a Sparketype, it's a "phase" of discovery that we all move through on the way to finding our Sparketype. And, here's the great thing. While your initial reaction might be, "but, I want to know my Sparketype NOW," truth is, shapeshifting is actually an AMAZING place to be. It's a moment of possibility, fertile ground for experimentation, wonder and adventure...IF...you understand what is really happening...AND...you embrace the invitation to move through it with curiosity and openness.
What exactly is this Shapeshifter phase, then?
Think of the Sparketype Assessment as something akin to Hogwarts' sorting hat, except instead of relying on magic, it uses data and algorithms. This algorithm tells makes sure there is enough data to reveal true differences, prompts you to tease out close-calls, then assigns your Sparketype.
But, here's the thing...
Sometimes, the Sparketype algorithm tells us it can't assign a specific Sparketype...yet. This can happen if your score for every single Sparketype is on the "not me" side of the spectrum. Even if there is a clear numerical winner when we add up the numbers, we think it's kind of silly to assign a Sparketype by choosing one that's "least unlike you." It can also happen if the scores for every single Sparketype, yes ALL of them, are high, yet nearly identical. We call this puppy-dog syndrome, you just "love everything and everyone!"
When one of these two things happen, the Sparketype Assessment doesn't have enough information to credibly assign you a Sparketype.
So, what can you do about this? Short answer, run Spark-speriments. Your answers don't reflect any genuine preferences, because on a personal level, you don't have enough information in the form of lived-experience, inquiry and contemplation to be able to reveal clear preferences. This could be related to age (the younger your are, the less life-data there in your vault to draw upon), life-choices, or any number of circumstances, many of which may well have been entirely outside your control.
By the way, it doesn't mean you've lived a complacent life, or that you've not done anything interesting or good and enjoyable (so let go of the judgment chatter). It just means that life has likely offered you a narrower set of experiences and relationships that have, for whatever reason, not included the types of activities that you give you a stronger indication of the nature of work that makes you come alive, or what your Sparketype truly is.
So, if you've found yourself in the Shapeshifter phase, it's an amazing opportunity to begin to run "Spark-spermints" -- short, progressive, intentional experiments designed to rapidly expose you to the types of activities associated with each of the 10 Primary Sparketypes. The goal isn't to love or get good at anything, it's simply to do it, then pay really close attention to how it makes you feel.
This could take some time. How long? That depends entirely on how much time you have available, and how committed you are to prioritizing this process of discovery. It'll be different for every person. And, that's all okay. It's actually amazing, because, the entire time, you'll get to enjoy the sense of adventure and discovery that comes with a commitment to any deeply meaningful quest or adventure. The most important thing is to begin, and to keep on running these Spark-speriments until your deeper sense of purpose-full work starts to reveal itself.
That actually brings us to a question. If there's enough interest, we're thinking about creating a short, self-guided program that would help you set up and run your own set of 10 Spark-speriments.
Call it The Shapeshifter Quest Kit.
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This is incredible! Now, what?
How do I tap the wisdom of my Sparketype profile to do more of what makes me come alive and less of what empties me out, whether I stay and reimagine my current work, look for something new, or start my own thing?
We've got two powerful resources to help you take the next step:
1. The SPARKED Podcast (weekly & free)
Every week on the SPARKED podcast, we invite a listener to share what’s going on in their work & life, then pose a specific question to a rotating lineup of wise and kind mentors - the SPARKED Braintrust. Then, we dive in, sharing eye-opening, often surprising insights, ideas, strategies, and tips that help not only them, but you.
It's 100% free, and whether you're a podcast veteran or have never listened before, it's super-easy to find, listen to, and be massively inspired by.
Click on the button below to find it FREE on your favorite podcast app.
2. Read the Bestselling Book - SPARKED!
"Jonathan Fields’s SPARKED offers an invaluable, thought-compelling framework to help us understand ourselves, so we’re better able to create happier, more productive, and more creative lives. When we discover our “sparketype,” we learn what sparks our energy at work and in life—and what most often drags us down. Learning that I’m a Maven/Maker helped me gain tremendous insight into myself." - Gretchen Rubin, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project
Order SPARKED from any bookseller. Here are easy links: