Personal SWOT Analysis
In the business world, a SWOT analysis is done to assess all factors that could affect a said project or goal. In some cases, a SWOT analysis is used before a project is developed or begins. A SWOT analysis is an excellent tool/framework for planning. It may be uncommon to perform personal SWOT analysis, but if you were to treat yourself as a business with deliverables and expected goals, such an assessment could come in handy. Let's break down what a personal SWOT entails.
Your strengths are your skills, abilities and positive traits; they are things you do well. A strength is often what makes you stand out for good. It is your pride and likely token to get to the next level. An assessment of what you do well is essential to channel your energy in the right direction. In some cases, you'll need to maximize your strength, in other cases, you'll need to focus on weaknesses. Knowing what you have is key to getting what you don't.
Your weaknesses are things you do poorly. They are things that likely embarrass you. They could also be things others do better than you in a competitive environment. The tasks you'll instead not do, the situations you'll rather not be in, your weaknesses are what you'll prefer not discussed at a Christmas party. It is essential to know your weaknesses for the same reason you should identify your strengths; in most cases, there's no point wasting time on assets and skills you already possess.
In the business sense, opportunities are an uncharted territory with the potential for favorable rewards. A business in the real estate industry that has cornered (for example) the Dallas market in Texas, but yet to engage in the neighboring Denton market, with the knowledge of minimal competition, has "opportunities" in Denton, Texas. Applying this same principle to personal assessments, SWOT opportunities are things, areas, situations that could be favorable to you, but currently not engaged. For instance, a comedian who hasn't considered being a Master of Ceremony for weddings is missing some opportunities. One may say he's leaving money on the table.
Finally, a threat is a negative factor that likely needs to be eliminated or diffused swiftly. Threats are obstacles and often enemies of progress. If not addressed, they could jeopardize the existence of a business. The BP Deepwater oil spill of New Orleans that occurred in 2010 was a threat to petroleum giant's very existence. BP was facing regulatory, legal, environmental and social attacks. So also, an individual with a substance abuse problem has a threat to his life. Threats are not to be handled carelessly; they are to be dealt with urgently.
I challenge you to assess your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats as you think through living your full existence on purpose. Such analysis should be done periodically, at the minimum yearly, if not biannually. A personal SWOT can help you focus your attention on what needs to be done to take you to the next level in life.