Strengths – if you were created for a purpose, then certainly the creator embedded in you the ability to fulfil that purpose. Finding out what your strengths are can be a good indicator of your higher purpose.
Your strengths are underpinned by your talents. Obviously you are going to be best at those things you find easy – the things you are naturally talented at.
Your dominant talents appear naturally no matter where you are or what you are doing. Often we can easily identify creative or artistic talents that we possess, for example: painting, singing, playing piano. However we may struggle to really know the talents we possess that can help us be successful with our job, running a business, or building better relationships.
Your talents can be identified by:
EASY LEARNING – when faced with a new task or challenge you pick up the knowledge or skill required very easily. Your brain just seems to switch on and the learning is so easy and rapid that an underlying talent must be considered.
ACHIEVEMENT – the deep sense of satisfaction and fulfilment you experience once you have successfully met a new challenge.
TIMELESSNESS – those times when you become so engrossed in a task that you are really “in the flow” and you lose all track of time. The activity obviously engaged you at a deep natural level, indicative of a talent.
PERFORMANCE – when you demonstrate flashes of excellence that are observed either by yourself or by others, this is displaying your natural talent.
PASSION – I will deal with passion as a separate topic in the next post.
If you know what your natural talents are, you can focus on developing them into strengths. And you can then align your work to be congruent or in harmony with your natural talents and strengths.
There are basically two pathways for identifying your strengths:
1 Self reflection.
2 Online tests.
Self reflection involves the process of taking the time to think and write about past instances of easy learning, achievement, timelessness, performance and passion in your life. It can also be a part of your routine to reflect at the end of each day: What went well and what contribution did I make? Over time you may identify a pattern that reveals a strength.
There is a quick 2-page assessment of strengths you can do at http://www.thehappinessinstitute.com/freeproducts/default.aspx . This is by no means comprehensive, but it will get you thinking about the different possible areas of strength and perhaps help you to identify some that you may not have otherwise considered.
Personally, I used the StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment to help me identify my strengths. Originally introduced in 2001, the assessment has since been upgraded to include application strategies. We all know it is useless to simply discover our strengths unless we do something with them, and the StrengthsFinder 2.0 Action Planning Guides have lots of practical ideas on how you can further develop your strengths.
You have to buy the book to get a code before you can do the online assessment. Currently the book is only $12.97 on Amazon (soft cover version). A great investment.
If you want more information on StrengthsFinder 2.0, have a look at the web site http://strengths.gallup.com/110440/About-StrengthsFinder-2.aspx.
Aligning what you do with your strengths can help you experience a life that is connected with your higher purpose, one where you are “in the zone”, time flies, work is like play and you are deeply satisfied by what you do. Worth following up, don’t you think?