Kwik Brain 099
March 14, 2019     |   786 VIEWS
Finding Work that Lights You Up with Jonathan Fields

"One of the big mistakes people make is that we start that exploration externally by looking at lists of jobs and industries, rather than starting internally and asking: what is the deeper driver for me?"
Jonathan Fields

Jonathan Fields is a national bestselling author and the founder of Good Life Project®, one of the top-ranked podcasts in the world with a giant global, mission-driven community. The Wall Street Journal hailed Good Life Project as one of the top self-development podcasts, and Apple recently featured it on-stage during its legendary annual event.

Jonathan’s latest book, How to Live a Good Life, became an instant national bestseller and #1 audiobook on Audible and his prior book, Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt Into Fuel For Brilliance, was named #1 Personal Development Book by 800-CEO-READ. Jonathan and his work have been featured widely in the media, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, FastCompany, Entrepreneur, Forbes, and Inc.

Some of the most common questions in the Kwik Brain community are: how do I find my passion? How do I find work that lights me up? Some of you might be feeling discouraged by not having found your passion or not knowing what your ‘why’ is in the world, or you might feel that you’re in the wrong job for you. If this is you, today’s podcast will help!

Can we find the ‘right’ job for us? What can we do if we have no idea what type of work really suits us?

The best-selling author of How to Live a Good Life and host of the wildly popular Good Life Project podcast, today’s guest Jonathan Fields has built his career on helping others to think differently about the definition of a good life. Jonathan created his Sparketype tool to help people find their inner drivers faster, and he’s here to tell us how we can use it to contribute to and feel fully expressed in the world.

If you haven’t already listened to my earlier conversation with Jonathan about finding your passion and purpose, you can check it out here!

In this conversation, Jonathan explains why he developed his Sparketype tool and some of the mistakes people make in trying to find the right path for them. He explains why identifying your deeper driver can give you a sense of freedom, benefit your relationships and help the world around you. We’ll then explain the ten different Sparketypes to help you understand which ones might apply to you – you can memorize these to help you on your way to creating meaning in your work!

Show Notes


  • A Sparketype is based on the belief that we all have a unique imprint, DNA or ‘source code’ for work that allows us to feel purpose, allows us to feel fully expressed in the world, and allows us to enter a state of flow—where we become absorbed and can work really hard but it feels like ‘effortless effort’
  • Venn diagram of purpose, expression, and flow—when you work from the intersection of these things, whether you get paid to do it or not, you come fully alive and feel like you’re doing the thing you’re here to do
  • Jonathan was curious: with so many ways try to figure out what we want to do, can you identify this place? Is there a set of universal imprints that cross cultures and ages, that stay with us?
  • Sees so many people hitting middle and later age with no sense of what it is for them
  • Can we create a tool that allows people to identify the deeper driver at a much earlier point in life, so they can start from there and start to look out at all the potential ways they can contribute to the world?
  • By using the tool, we can search in a much more informed way by saying: will this allow me to do the work of my Sparketype? Meaning, will this opportunity allow me to engage myself in work that gives me a strong sense of purpose, makes me feel fully expressed, creates a sense of flow?
  • When we experience those things we are fully lit up, and the more we experience that the better it is for us, our relationships and the world around us
  • One of the big mistakes people make is that we start that exploration externally: looking at lists of jobs, lists of industries, rather than starting internally and asking: what is the deeper driver for me?
  • Once we identify it, it gives us freedom because we can find thousands of jobs or industries that will allow us to express that, and we can run fewer experiments and get to the right place faster



  • Societal baggage of what we ‘should’ be doing with our lives e.g. family telling you – you shouldn’t be a dancer or singer because you’ll never make a living at it
  • Primary driver: the work you’re here to do
  • Shadow driver: something you’ve become really good at, but if you’re honest you’re doing in service of your primary driver
  • Even if your deeper driver is buried beneath the expectations of other people, it’s still the thing for you to do, is still the core of who you are
  • Some people avoid expressing who they are and standing out as it triggers blame or confrontation e.g. Australians getting told not to be a ‘tall poppy’ (means being told not to achieve and stand out)



  • Drive to make ideas manifest—wake up in the morning and think: I need to create
  • Love going from the idea to creating something
  • Driven by curiosity: need to figure things out, solve problems and puzzles
  • Can exist in any profession
  • The reason they do it: kick of figuring the problem out
  • Knowledge acquisition: wake up and want to learn
  • Specific fascinations: devour every bit of information about a topic until they have exhausted it
  • If you have multiple degrees and only using one or two of them, chances are this is you
  • Not necessarily about solving problems, might just want to know everything about it
  • Organizing, simplifying, process and systems: this can show up in lots of different ways
  • Drive to turn chaos into order
  • One of the Sparketypes others find hard to understand: why would they want to do that?
  • Bring illustrative, demonstrative energy to a moment
  • Can happen on stage, on screen but can also be a teacher, doctor
  • Taking a moment, experience or idea and demonstrating it in a way that allowing the energy and wisdom from it to be brought to life so everybody gets it
  • Drive to lead
  • Societal overlay with this sparketype: a lot of people associate it with masculinity, aggression, arrogance
  • Most effective people in this role are quiet, gentle, sensitive, have a powerful balance of masculine and feminine energies
  • About organizing people and leading them towards the desired outcome
  • Teaching: transmitting wisdom and information in a way that people will understand with clarity, seeing the light bulbs go on in others
  • Teachers & speakers
  • If you’re finding ways to tell people what you know, this you
  • You may spend a lot of time in maven stage learning, but later you will want to turn around and share what you know
  • Giving voice to the voiceless: this can be the disenfranchised, animals or environment
  • Can also be ideas: the champion of unvoiced ideas in a room
  • See injustice and want to right it: giving voice to something that has not been given voice to
  • Guiding individuals or a small group of people through a process to the desired end
  • Much more intimate expression of work, advisor rides alongside the group
  • Joy comes from advising as they make the journey
  • Therapeutic professions, professional practices that create long-term relationships
  • Drive to give care
  • Likely to feel a lot, high level of empathy: feel other people’s unease, suffering, pain, and discomfort in such a way you can’t understand how others don’t feel it on the same level as you
  • Moved to do something about it
  • Be aware: can be so focused on giving that they forget to look after self, can’t do work of nurturer without self-care


  • Take the Sparketype assessment here!
  • Don’t forget to take a screenshot of this episode, tag us both on social media (@jonathanfields & @jimkwik) and share your greatest “aha!” moment from this episode with us!

Related Kwik Brain Episodes You Might Enjoy

Episode 31: The Champion’s Mindset with Olympian Dr. Jeff Spencer

Episode 39: Wipe Out Negative Thoughts & Limiting Beliefs

Episode 79: Imagination for Courage, Creativity & Change with Beth Comstock

Episode 98: Discovering Your Passion & Purpose with Jonathan Fields


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