Author, Speaker, Mentor

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Putting your strengths to work

No man or woman will find the best way to do a thing unless he or she loves to do that thing.
Japanese proverb

Strengths, correctly identified, reveal a person’s capacity. And putting your strengths to work having been identified won’t be a guarantee of success. Yet, even without this guarantee, it is still great advice to identify your strengths and tailor your work to these.

A person will excel only by amplifying strengths, never by simply fixing weaknesses. Get your strengths together and make your weaknesses irrelevant. Your strengths are your greatest asset. Each and every person is at their most creative and shows their best judgement precisely in their areas of greatest strength.

It is also known that, while you continue to learn throughout adulthood, you will learn the most in those areas where you already know most, where your synaptic branches are already thick and strong. On the emotional side of things, you know you will be more resilient, persistent, self-confident and effective in areas where you have developed some mastery. You will only be able to transfer these powerful feelings to new challenges if these new challenges are substantially similar to your existing areas of mastery.

What activity (or activities) do people say just seem to come so naturally to you – it’s like you’re not trying when you do it?

  • That you really seem to enjoy doing it?
  • That it holds your attention or that of others if they are involved?
  • The activity that people are always volunteering you for

Having answered the above, what would you honestly say are your strengths? If you are struggling with this exercise, think of the leaders you chose, for it may be the very things they are strong at that you are strong at, too.

Over the coming days and weeks, when doing certain activities, look to see if they meet the above criteria. When you identify one that does, you can be pretty sure you’re looking at one of your strengths.

If you want to bring about and/or build on success and happiness, most of your learning should be targeted towards those areas where you have already achieved some level of mastery. If you have a natural ability to solve problems or to build relationships or to compete or to anticipate the needs of others, you will get the most bang from your learning buck from stretching, refining and focusing on these abilities.

Self-leaders make sure their words match where they are heading. If your words, actions and intentions match, it all works out without fail. Highly accomplished people use language in an instinctive or intuitive way, always focusing on what they are trying to accomplish. They are confident when they commit to progress with a strong narrative and matching deeds. They chip away and eventually overwhelm toxic thoughts and feelings and when you do, anything is possible.

If you want to follow up on what I have written here and live a life of true and real success for you, please check out my books—available from Amazon.

Playing to your strengths in 2022

Really do hope you get to have a great break over the Christmas period. Only will you please make sure that you are playing to your strengths in 2022 when setting out the goals for the new year ahead?

Find your flaws and fix them! So many people have been advised to do this. It will keep you challenged, nicely rounded and humble – and it will keep your boss happy! This only tells you what to do with your unique complement of strengths and weaknesses: maintain the former and fix the latter. But, in fact, what people really need to do is play to their strengths and make their weaknesses irrelevant. This really is by far the most effective strategy in living a life of success and happiness. It is so important to discover what you don’t like doing and then stop doing it.
Most people have been brought up in the belief that they will grow and develop most by working on their weaknesses. This is simply not true. You will not grow and develop the most as a human being by focusing on your areas of weakness. The truth is you will learn, grow and develop the least in your areas of weakness. Any learning, growth and development attained will be hard won. This does not change over time – it applies equally regardless of age. It is as true for a ten-year-old as for a sixty-year-old. The fact is you would be far better off investing all your drive, time and focus on your strengths.

What is meant by a ‘personal strength’?
The definition of ‘a strength’ is an activity that makes you feel strong.

Strengths can be found in activities in which you exhibit consistent, near-perfect performance. They are those specific activities at which you do well and for which you still retain a powerful appetite. It feels easy. It feels like you don’t need to try very hard. It feels like an activity that, for some reason, proved quite simple for you to pick up. You learned it quickly. It is something innate that comes from within; something that you find easy to tie into, to use, to grow and to develop. When you are using your strengths, you don’t struggle to concentrate. Instead, you naturally stay focused and time speeds up, and you still feel focused and time speeds up some more.

Strengths can be found in activities that draw you back to them time and again, the activities you can’t help volunteering for. These are where your strengths lie. They are the ones that keep your interest and your concentration with almost no effort; the activities that leave you feeling strong, fulfilled and powerful.

Strengths are not only activities for which you have some natural talent; they are also activities that strengthen you. When using them, you feel powerful, authentic and confident and challenged in the best sense of the word. As such, they are self-reinforcing. Left to their own devices, they will – and must – be expressed.

The most successful people sculpt their life and jobs so they spend a disproportionate amount of time doing what they love. This is no accident. It happens because they stay alert to those activities they don’t like and cut them out as quickly as possible. They do their best to guard the time they can spend doing what they love.
So, will you please make sure that you are playing to your strengths in 2022.

If you want to follow up on what I have written here and living a life of true and real success for you, please check out my books—available from Amazon.

Cover image by Tumisu

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