Your Resource Matrix

Back to Joyality 301

Purpose: This exercise helps you to identify the resources and strengths you already have that can be used to create positive change towards a sustainable future (or, more specifically, in your passion action).

Preparation: On a blank sheet draw two lines to divide the page into four quadrants. Label the first quadrant “personal qualities and passions”, the second “skills, experience and knowledge”, the third “physical resources and tools”, and the fourth “connections with people and organizations”.

This exercise can be done individually or with a friend, but doing it with a friend can be more fun and perhaps easier as well. If you are doing it with another person, trade papers so you are writing in each others journals and take turns completing the exercise with one person asking the questions and recording the answers in the other persons journal as they answer.

Process: Try to be as thorough and specific as possible with this exercise, and focus on strengths  that you can use to be a powerful positive changemaker. You might find it easiest to write in dot-points inside each quadrant.

What personal qualities and passions would make you a good change maker?

  • What issues really fire you up?
  • What do you love doing?
  • What qualities or character traits to do you have?

What skills, experiences and knowledge do you have that would be useful for bringing positive change?

  • What academic or work experiences do you have?
  • What issues or subjects do you know a lot about?
  • What interpersonal, technical or physical skills do you have?

What physical resources and tools do you have access to that could be useful?

  • This can include things like financial resources, communication resources, or transportation resources. These are often things we take for granted as “normal”, forgetting the power and abilities they give us.

What connections do you have with people and organizations?

  • Who do you know?
  • Who do members of your family know?
  • What groups, clubs or organizations are you or have you been a part of?
  • What personal, academic and/or professional relationships do you have?

Spend 5 minutes to write yourself a short ‘bio’ paragraph as if you were about to give a public talk, presentation at a conference or workshop, based on some of the dot points you’ve recorded on the page. Start your bio with “[Your name] is a powerful changemaker who …”.  Better still, if you are doing this with a friend, write bios for each other!

Reflection: How do you feel after doing that exercise? We often forget all the qualities, skills, resources and connections that we already have and therefore we forget how much we are actually capable of doing NOW.  It can be easy to feel like you don’t know enough, or don’t have enough experience or power to affect any change. We have a cultural habit of relegating our dreams and our happiness to the future, and anchoring them to circumstances. We do the same with our power. We hope this exercise helps you realize that, while your potential is limitless, you already have everything you need to get started.

Back to Joyality 301

Source: Eshana Bragg, inspired by an exercise from Katrina Shields (1991), In the Tigers Mouth: An Empowerment Guide for Social Action (pp.21-22).

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