If you’ve filled out the Spirit Map inventory (try a sample here!) you know that we ask you for two ratings for each inventory item, on a scale of 1-10:
Why do we ask you how important each item is to you? What makes it worth your time to give us your importance ratings?
Your importance ratings matter because they prioritize Spirit Map strengths and opportunities. Importance ratings help us provide better guidance about which strengths you most bring to the world and which opportunities you could find most fruitful for further deepening.
Consider these examples from people who recently completed the Spirit Map inventory.
One person, let’s call them Tyler, said all of the following items rated a 10 in terms of how present these items are in their spiritual life:
How might Tyler determine which of these strengths they might best rely on? The importance rating can help Tyler prioritize these strengths. The table below shows the same items, re-ordered according to Tyler’s importance ratings.
Clearly items 39, 40, and 43 represent strengths that matter more in Tyler’s spiritual life and would therefore be gifts Tyler would more easily bring to the world and would provide a more solid grounding on which to build spiritual depth and growth.
Importance ratings can also help prioritize opportunities. Consider the items to which another person, let’s call them Blake, gave the lowest presence ratings:
Without any additional information, we might recommend that these items represent equal opportunities for Blake’s spiritual development or growth. This recommendation looks short sighted, however, when we look at Blake’s importance ratings for these six items. Here’s that same list, re-ordered according to Blakes’ importance ratings:
Blake is much more likely to find work on items 38 and 7 fruitful than the rest of the items because 38 and 7 and more important to them.
You can see this even more clearly in Blake’s Quadrant Map below. The Quadrant Map in every Spirit Map report plots each item according to your presence ratings and importance ratings. We’ve put a large oval around the items Blake rated a 1 for presence in their life. When we incorporate Blake’s wide range of importance ratings for these items, you can see how that distributes the items into the greater and lesser opportunity quadrants. Plus, when we include importance ratings into our calculation that determines Signature Strengths and Key Opportunities, you can see that only two of these items become Key Opportunities (circled; Signature Strengths are in diamonds).
This is why we ask you to go through the Spirit Map inventory items a second time to provide your importance ratings. With your importance ratings, we can provide clearer guidance about which items represent your spiritual gifts (Signature Strengths) and which items most represent your opportunities for spiritual growth and development (Key Opportunities).
Spirit Map is almost unique among spiritual well-being inventories in gathering a second measure like importance. In 2015 John Fisher published the results of a survey of spiritual well-being inventories. Fisher found 261 multi-item inventories, and only one of them, his own SHALOM inventory, collects a second measure for each of the inventory items. All the other inventories collect only a single measure comparable to Spirit Map’s presence rating (how true is a given item of you: 1 – 10 scale).
What items are most important to you in your spiritual life? What does that mean for your spiritual strengths and opportunities? Take the Spirit Map inventory yourself and see! You can purchase a Spirit Map report, which gives you full access to the inventory, or you can try a sample inventory. Or, explore our website to learn more about us.
 Published as Chapter 5 in E.C. Roberts (Ed.), Spirituality, Global Practices, Societal Attitudes and Effects on Health (pp. 91-131), New York: Nova Science Publishers Inc, 2015
Insights we've gained from Spirit Map.