Photo by Rob Ellis 

Photo by Rob Ellis

A number of years ago I was visiting with an attorney friend of mine. At the time I was wrestling with a very hectic schedule and a number of demands on my time that seemed to be pressing in and stressing me out. I knew this attorney was very busy. Many people had expectations of and for him. So, I asked him,

“How do you decide

what to say ‘no’ to?”

His answer stopped me in my tracks. He said, “Mark, I know what my bullseye is. So, when I get a request I run it through my bullseye. If there’s a match, I say ‘yes.’ If not, I say ‘no.’” Pretty simple, huh?

Well, this got me thinking. What did he mean by bullseye? What is mine? Over time, we came up with 5 questions to help people discover their bullseye. I’ll share them here. I hope this is as helpful to you as it’s been to me.


  1. What is my CALLING?


  1. How is my CHARACTER growing?


  1. How do others assess my COMPETENCE ?


  1. Am I functioning within the context of COMMUNITY ?


  1. The 5th C….COURAGE! Do I have the courage to implement what I’ve discovered?

 CALLING: Now, don’t get all weirded out over this thing, “Calling,” and begin thinking I’m asking you to go live in a monastery. Our culture has lost some of the meaning of the word VOCATION. It’s roots point toward calling.

What were you made to do?

But, contained in the history of the word is this idea of “voice.” Can you discover your voice in the world? You’ve probably seen the following diagram somewhere. I don’t know where it originated, but…



 We all want to have a sense of purpose and meaning in our lives, and if that can be integrated into our best efforts and best hours, isn’t that life as it’s meant to be lived?

 CHARACTER: We all want to be people of character – at our best – impeccable character. Is there an aspect of your character that is being forged in the furnace of your day-to-day work? Are you a willing participant in this forging? Don’t you know people who have run from a job because it’s gotten tough? What if, instead of fleeing the furnace’s heat, you persevered and allowed the furnace to do its refining work? What aspect of your character might be grown if you were to hang in there? Honesty, love, hope, wisdom, discernment, joy – to name a few possibilities.

COMPETENCE: Notice we ask here how others assess my competence? Have you ever heard someone ask,

“How did you do that?”

 To which you respond, “Do what?” If you have experienced this, you might be on to something. I think the “Do what?” response often occurs when we are operating in an area of gifting, of core competence. Pay attention.

Don’t dismiss the importance of what comes naturally.

 COMMUNITY: Quite simply, we are relational beings made for relationship. No man is an island is a true truth! Why do we call certain sports individual and others team? A team is made up of individualS, not just one individual. Are you on a team? Are you FOR your team? Do you believe your team is for you?

We are better together!

COURAGE: We can intellectually know what’s come before (the first 4 C’s) and clearly articulate our understanding of this information. But, if we never jump in with both feet, we will never experience the joy of discovering our bullseye. Having said that, courage is risky business. A guy I’m currently reading, Andy Crouch, says,

True flourishing is only found

on the far side of risk.

 And flourishing is what we’re all made for! So, risk on! In the Cornell study of people aged 95 and over, the question was asked, “What would you differently if you could live your life over?” One of the top answers was, “Risk more.” Don’t wait for 95!



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