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An Essay by Sandra Hirsh

Uncover your life gifts, spiritual gifts, personality type, values, and passions in the book, LifeKeys: Discovering Who You Are, Why You’re Here, and What You Do Best. This book helps you find the pathways, unique to you, to fulfilling work and leisure, to activities that give you meaning and joy, and to opportunities to serve.

LifeKeys provides a process consisting of easy-to-use exercises that lead ultimately to a better understanding of who you are. Using the five different lenses that LifeKeys offers, you can find a sure footing upon which to base decisions for vital aging.

  • Life Gifts. To understand what gifts you like and do well, think about several times when you felt most effective in your life. Using LifeKeys as a guide, you create a matrix consisting of six fields of life gifts and select from the corresponding gift groups for each field. As you work through the matrix, identity what energizes you and what you can contribute through your gifts.
  • Spiritual Gifts. LifeKeys uses personal stories of 20 individuals who acknowledge a special spiritual gift. By reading the stories and learning the six to eight characteristics of each spiritual gift, you can learn where your soul might be led and fed.
  • Personality. Using concepts made popular by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which identifies a preferred way to be energized (Extraversion or Introversion), a preferred way to take in information (Sensing or Intuition), a preferred way to make decisions (Thinking or Feeling), and a preferred way to live one’s life (Judgment or Perception), LifeKeys helps you determine those situations that are most natural, easy, and comfortable for you.
  • Values. In LifeKeys, you have the opportunity to sort through 51 values to determine what matters most to you. Sort your values using three questions: What is important to you? What supplies meaning in your life? And what influences the decisions you make? When you have prioritized your top eight values, you can check to see if the way you live your life is consistent with your values.
  • Passions. Passions are desires or purposes that bring joy. LifeKeys asks you to determine whether one passion has you in its grip; whether your passion is right under your nose doing daily things joyfully; whether you are waiting for someone with a vision that is large enough to entice you; or whether you are a dreamer who has harbored longings that you will follow sometime when time and resources are available.

Once you have worked through the five keys of the LifeKeys process, you will have fresh ideas for your own journey to vital aging that engages your life gifts, spiritual gifts, personality, values, and passions.

Sandra Hirsh coauthored LifeKeys: Discovering Who You Are, Why You’re Here, and What You Do Best with Jane A. G. Kise and David Stark. She is an international expert on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, having authored several books and training materials on it. She has a Master’s Degree in Industrial Relations and American Studies.



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