top of page

Post #3 (Breisheet): “And God saw that this was good”: Performing a personal SWOT analysis

“Ask yourself if what you’re doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.” - Radma Verix

"God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness (Genesis 1:4). And God saw that this was good (Genesis 1:25). God saw all He had made and found it very good" (Genesis 1:31).

As God created the world, He lingered after each unit of His creation to evaluate what He had accomplished. Each day of creation was assessed…with a single exception. Whereas on the first day, “God saw that the light was good,” on the second day, no evaluation was performed, perhaps because the acts of separating the land from the sky and water from dry land extended into the third day. Indeed, the third day saw the completion of the previous day’s task and included introducing all species of vegetation, warranting two mentions of “And God saw that this was good.”[1]

The remaining days were similarly evaluated as “good” until the completion of creation on the sixth day, which was termed “very good.” The “very good” could have been attributed to the gestalt principle of the whole being better than the sum of its parts. It could also have been an expression of God’s optimism: His creation of humanity may have stirred Him to consider how Adam and Eve and their progeny would have the potential to develop and even perfect the newly created world.

God’s optimism, however, may have been short-lived after Adam and Eve disregarded their only constraint in the Garden of Eden–eating fruit from the forbidden tree.[2] Indeed, over the millennium after creation, God seemed to have identified the “weak link” in His endeavors, possibly even sabotaging His very creation: He saw “how great was man’s wickedness on earth,” leading Him even to regret having created humankind.[3] God’s regret seems to have persisted for several generations until the appearance of Noah, whom God identified as the person who would justify saving His creation. It appears, then, that Noah was the opportunity God had patiently anticipated––God saw him as righteous in his time––and the rest is history!

Can we learn from God’s deliberation in His enterprise of creation? For all of us, self-awareness is a vital resource. It can help the person maintain a semblance of objectivity regarding their abilities and prospects for development. It can help keep the person from succumbing to the ramifications of unsubstantiated low self-esteem or illusions of grandeur. SWOT analyses are often performed by organizations, teams, or even individuals, often providing action plans at the end of the process. The personal SWOT analysis can help you plan your next career move, whether in your current or new framework, by facilitating accurate self-awareness. The classic 4-quadrant matrix comprises cells to record Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats:


Strengths and weaknesses refer to your unique attributes, whereas opportunities and threats refer to external factors. Strengths reflect your natural abilities and resources, or those you are developing, that may help you attain your career goals (e.g., making friends easily, being good at time management, having a sense of humor, or proficiency in languages). These qualities should include those you express at work or during off-hours; when you hear positive feedback from colleagues and family, believe them. Weaknesses imply patterns of sub-optimal performance or unproductive work habits that you or others have identified (e.g., procrastinating, being unassertive, lacking credentials) that may impede your career aspirations.

Opportunities allude to factors in the organization or the industry that could be advantageous (e.g., positive market changes, a colleague soon to retire, a course opening up to upgrade skills). Threats reflect external factors that could stymie your development and advancement (e.g., anticipated budget cuts or downsizing, belonging to an unstimulating team, fierce competition for the desired promotion, or a new boss that you have difficulty warming up to).

A SWOT analysis is not an intellectual exercise––it is goal-oriented and action-oriented. It is the first step in reevaluating your personal and career goals so that you can determine a concrete, realistic plan of action needed to achieve them.[4]

Using the creation of the world as an analogy to the process we are discussing, the creation tasks were broken down into strengths (e.g., “God saw the light was good”), weaknesses (e.g., some outcomes of creating humankind can be disappointing), threats (humankind seems to have a penchant to conduct itself destructively, portending doom for the world 5) , and opportunities (Noah and his family were an exception, so all is not lost; when they appeared on the horizon, God perceived them as those for whom the world would be worth saving).

Points to Ponder:

  • A vital element of any successful SWOT analysis is having the courage to be honest with yourself.[6] We naturally proceed to do our best in our everyday lives and are reluctant to examine our helpful and unhelpful features systematically. This natural inclination to put off self-assessment is why some feel this analysis is more effective when completed with others, whether in a workshop or with a trusted colleague. Others can challenge you to achieve a more complete analysis, such as “When was the last time you exercised this strength, and how did people react?” “Can this weakness be turned into a strength?” “Is the competition for the promotion all that fierce?” “I noticed you didn’t list your great sense of humor as a strength.”

  • Today, change is a constant, certainly in the job market. At work, changes can include modifying job assignments, changing their format, and fluctuating prospects in the organization. Thus, a useful SWOT analysis cannot be a one-shot exercise. It needs to be executed periodically to reassess your previous judgments and chart your progress. You may have recently completed some training and acquired new skills, or some colleagues may have left their job, thus potentially realigning your previous analysis in all the quadrants. You may have already taken action on a prior analysis that has borne fruit. Your analysis may be performed quarterly or annually, but after a couple of cycles, you will naturally view new personal and external developments as updated content for your next SWOT matrix.

  • Try this: On the first day of next month, complete a draft of your SWOT analysis; then, ask a trusted colleague or significant other to review it with you, offering to do the same with them. You can look forward to new insights and expanded prospects for the future.


[1] Genesis 1:10, 1:12.

[2] Gen. 3:12.

[3] Gen. 6:5–8.

[4] (2021). Personal SWOT analysis to assess and improve yourself.

[5] Moreover, God seemed to identify another threatening development and took action: “The Lord God then said, ’Now that man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil, he must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the Tree of Life, eat, and live forever’ So the Lord God sent him away from the Garden of Eden to work the land from where he had been taken” Genesis 3:22–23.

[6] When questioned by God, our forebears, Adam and Eve, looked to attribute the responsibility for their misdeed on others. They appeared to evade the “whole truth” in their explanation for eating from the forbidden tree and were reluctant to admit their shortcomings.


bottom of page