Updated: Apr 10, 2020
This is one of the most underestimated topics for self-improvement that can truly make an impact on your life.
Being able to work in an environment where your strengths are being utilized is by far the single most advantageous thing that will separate you from your competitors.
First off, having strengths is much more than just being talented or skillful in a certain area. Imagine being a talented quarterback as far as skill is concerned, but you have no passion for it. If you continue down this path with no passion, you’ll struggle in the long term. You'll struggle being a good teammate, you’ll struggle wanting to put in the time for practice, and at some point you'll ask yourself WHY am I doing this?
Playing in your true strengths consists of multiple components.
First off and most important is PASSION.
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” - Steve Jobs
When you have a LOVE for something, you’re always willing to put in the extra time. You want to get in the grinder, you want to feel the struggles of failures and learning, you are willing to endure where all others would have given up. This is what PASSION does for you.
“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” - Oprah Winfrey
I love Oprah’s quote because with passion comes ENERGY. With passion comes excitement. These are feelings of motivation and motivation is hard to come by. Do you struggle getting out of bed? Well, when your excited and passionate about something, you’ll get out of bed.
The second thing you need to work in your strengths is to develop your vision & purpose. Then, align your passion with your vision & purpose. To develop your purpose, you need to understand why you tick. Why do you do what you do? What is important to you? To define your vision you need to know where you want to be in 5, 10, 15 years. These will hopefully help you understand your path.
The last thing is to work in an environment where you are a natural talent or have a high skill level. The difference between these two is that skill can be learned and taught fairly easily and the talent is very difficult to learn and arguably impossible to do so.
Having natural talent consists of are things like natural body movement, thoughts & actions. Maybe your ability to talk to others or be a natural leader. Natural talent is more the how you do things and the skill is more of the what you do.
Lets use leadership as an example.. What if you have a conflict between two employees and you need to figure out how to instill leadership on this issue and defuse the situation?
A highly skilled leader may know the proper setting to be in, and what to say to ensure a proper process. There is a high probability that this can be effective because it’s a highly skilled leader.
A naturally talented leader will just know what to do and how to say it and address the situation without having to study what the proper process is. They will have better results and keep better relationships along the way.
Both talent and high skill levels can be effective when talking about strengths if they are paired with passion and purpose.
Take a moment and imagine being in that life. Doing something your passionate about, being good at what you’re doing and knowing you on the right path for you to accomplish your vision. This truly is the fantastic life. And better yet, you can create it!
Today I’d like to give you a challenge. For the next 7 days write down 3 of your strengths. You may be surprised of what you come up with. If you struggle thinking of what your strengths are, google different strengths and read the definitions and see if you can’t find something that matches you.
The other things you can do is to try new activities and new experiences. Get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. Another way to learn and grow that will be a path to your passion.