Finding Your Hedgehog

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I’m going to be honest. I got really excited that I get to name my blog post that. Not only because that means I get to post cute hedgehog pictures like this,

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But also because it has a purpose! Lately, I have been hearing a lot about this concept called, “finding your hedgehog” which essentially means discovering what you, as an individual, can be the best at. This analogy comes from the idea that a fox can do what it does best and invent all these strategies to attempt to attack a hedgehog (think that poor little wolf in The Sword and The Stone). And a hedgehog, though it doesn’t seem like much, can do the one thing it does best in the world: roll up into a little ball and protect itself. The idea behind this concept is that if we take the time to list what we are most passionate about, what we are wired to do, and what we can do in reality to make a living, then we will find where they intersect, and there will be our hedgehog – the things that we do that we can be excellent in. 

I think everyone would benefit from taking some quiet time, perhaps sitting on your deck with a cup of coffee watching the leaves change (can anyone tell I’m excited that it is fall…?) and thinking about these three areas. Wouldn’t everyone like to find something that they are most passionate about, built to do, and practical to carry out? I think we tend to get lost in the details a lot – the everyday-ness of life. It’s not a quick process to “find your hedgehog.” It could take a lengthy amount of time. But it is definitely worth it. 

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I’ll tell you a little bit about my experience trying to find my “hedgehog.” I haven’t found it yet, or even a real live hedgehog, but I’m not discouraged. One day I was having a typical senior-in-college moment where I was thinking, “I don’t know what I want. There’s nothing I’m passionate about. I don’t have any passion. I’m not good at anything. There’s nothing that I want to do.” It’s a normal inner monologue where you can clearly see my thought process going in circles. Not the most productive internal examination of myself I’ve done. Literally the next day I was in a meeting where they brought up the concept of finding your hedgehog. Then they gave us 20 minutes to list those three areas of our lives. Here’s a visual of the concept:

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I thought to myself, “great, now I have to come up with things I am passionate about and skilled at and they have to be good because I’ll be sharing them with everyone else.” It was a good, if not mocking, turn of events, and it helped, although my passion list was a bit short. I’ll be working on that this week. A few of the things I shared were:

Some things I am passionate about:

(These can be anything from objects to actions to people to artists)

  • Having the perfect amount of creamer in my coffee
  • Dancing
  • Early mornings
  • Organizing my living spaces
  • Making Goals
  • Bubble Baths

Some things I am wired/built to do:

  • Being good at organization
  • Willing to listen
  • Planning parties
  • Slow to anger

I would highly recommend taking time out of your busy everyday life in order to think about these things, because too often we forget to really evaluate ourselves and discover opportunities that draw us deeper into the wonder, the passion, the drive, and the excitement of the everyday life we live when we are doing what we are called to do.

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