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Recognize Your Moment of Obligation

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.

-Maureen McGuire, PhD

Adapted from "Find Your Moment of Obligation." by Lara Galinsky. - A great vocabulary builder. For each word you get right, they donate 20 grains of rice through the United Nations to help end world hunger.


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