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What Are Your Strengths? ...

Posted Jan 14 2009 7:37pm
What Are Your Strengths?

The Truth About You: Your Secret to Success
by Marcus Buckingham

Just released in September 2008, this book-and-DVD package teaches a process to help you develop the kind of clarity you need to discover your passion that drives a successful and satisfying life.

In a recent tv interview, Marcus Buckingham talks about how identifying and prioritizing personal strengths can be invaluable in creating higher satisfaction and performance at home and work. When a depressed economy causes anxiety and worry, people begin to question how to stay employed, Buckingham says to first ask yourself what your strengths are. Rather than looking to build your network outside of work just in case you lose your job, "double down", he says. Get focused, get productive utilizing your strengths and get that reputation of being indispensible. Because the first person to get cut is the person who psychologically has checked out and is looking out and over the fence, so to speak.

Initially, people seem to believe that strengths are what you're good at and weaknesses are what you're bad at. And if that's true, then you're probably not the best judge of what you're strengths are. Because I'm sure there are PLENTY of things that we're good at but absolutely hate doing.

So try discovering your strengths in a different way. You'll find that they actually present themselves during activities that make you feel strong.

Start by paying attention to the activities you are drawn to doing during a regular week. You'll find those strengths when you're doing something and time just seems to fly by. When you can focus and identify those strengths, then you can build on them, become more productive using them which improves your overall performance and ultimately become more satisfied with what you are doing.

Buckingham says, and I totally agree, that we are all hardwired to love certain things and be absolutely PASSIONATE about them. So when you find what your passions are, that is where your work should be. Otherwise, you'll just be miserable if you're not doing what you love everyday. And especially when you're doing what you don't love 40, 50, or 60 hours a week!

Finding the Silver Lining

In tough economic times when you're really feeling buried by the weight and the stress of it all, and you're thinking, "How am I going to get out?", it's hard to see that bright spot, the silver lining around your dark cloud.

But what's important to realize in times like this and, really, during any other time, is that life is like a series of sprints. Not all stress is bad, but stress without any recovery is bad. And the process of a successful sprint is stess, recover, stress, recover.

The Silver Lining represents the opportunities that become apparent during times of stress. Allow yourself to change your perspective; mentally step back and see your circumstances in a different light. Look at how they may present those perfect opportunities that you need to either sprint forward or recover. For example, with the high cost of gas people are more inclined to go out less - which could mean more time with family, more time to pay attention to them and get to know them more. Spend an hour with your kids doing something that they absolutely love to do - video games, board games, outdoor games....anything.

Check out Marcus Buckingham's "The Truth About You" toolkit.
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