Its amazing all the things you are told through out your life that is sheer rubbish. Frankly I’m surprised things aren’t more screwed up than they already are! Women (who are rail thin) are told they are fat and worthless by pretty much everyone. Men are told they are impotent and insignificant. And the kids who are the lucky ones are told they can be anything they want if only they work hard.
Just before Christmas I decided to pick-up Gallup’s StrengthsFinder 2.0 and “find my strengths”. In the book, Tom Rath, takes issue with some of the rubbish I just mentioned. In particular, that myth that we are told that we can be anything we want if we just try hard enough (or I would add, are lucky enough, or are blessed enough). Rath submits that, “you cannot be anything you want to be”, which put a knot in my throat and really rubbed me the wrong way at first. I can be anything I want damn it! But he continues on to say, “but you can be a lot more of who you already are.” Ah… now, that’s something I want! I want more of what makes me good to begin with!
The basic idea here, folks, is quit trying to be something you are not. Instead, be better at what you are already good at… in fact, try to be great at it! Its not a revolutionary thought until you start to apply it to your life! I probably spend a good 70% of my life trying to be something I’m not. Not really on purpose, but because that’s what I’m suppose to do, right? I need fixing, right? Well, in some ways, yes. But I want to spend my life living in the strengths God gave me… not the weaknesses I have been living in!
So without further ado… my top five strengths:
Strategic. I see patterns where others see complexity. Its a way of thinking, a perspective on the world, which allows me to play out “what if” scenarios until I’ve found that path which makes the most sense to move forward with. And then I strike.
Activator. I’m impatient for action. Only action is real. Once a decision is made, I cannot not act. Action and thinking are not opposites; in fact, action is the best vehicle for thinking and the only way to stay fresh and informed.
Adaptability. I live in the moment. The future isn’t a fixed destination but something yet to be determined. I hold my plans loosely because change is expected and inevitable.
Maximizer. Excellence is my standard. Give me the diamonds-in-the-rough, not the other “precious stones”. If I’m going to put in the effort, I want to go from good to great; not fair to average.
Woo. I enjoy winning people to the cause. And I probably won’t give up until I have. I’m rarely at a loss for words or reasons or arguments to convince you the cause is worth your time too.