Creating the “Instruction Manual of Me”

One of the touchstone pieces throughout your journey is figuring out your n-of-1, the formula of growth and development that works for you. As you gain clarity about your own preferences, styles, and dispositions, you can begin to capture this in a way that you can reflect on for yourself (for example, to check in on to see where you’re in or out of alignment), and eventually you can also share this with others. In some ways, this next step of “codifying” your n-of-1 can be akin to creating the “how-to manual of you”. Knowing “how you operate” is a helpful way to frame your entire learning path as it gives you a point of reference to make any new information relevant, and therefore meaningful, to you.

While it may sound mechanic, the idea of creating the “Instruction Manual of Me” is a very personal process of building self-awareness. There are many ways to go about doing this introspective “inner work” — you can do this on your own through guided self-reflection, it could be something you ask for input for from family, friends, or co-workers, and this could also be what you work through in a coaching engagement.

To give you a sense of what this is about, here are some questions you can ask yourself:

  1. What time of day are you the most productive?
  2. What are the things that distract you?
  3. When do you feel your best? What are you doing? Where are you?
  4. How do you explore ideas? How do you make decisions?
  5. What’s the balance of time you need to be with others, or on your own?
  6. Do you prefer to plan your time or to leave your schedule open-ended?
  7. What gives you energy? What drains your energy?

Your answers to these questions, and also the way you answer them, are a reflection of what makes you uniquely you. Developing this self-awareness is an on-going process, and “the manual of you” will continue to evolve over time — it can be a starting point, but will almost never be the end.