How To Find Your Strengths Just because you’re good at something doesn’t make it a strength
By Dave Ramsey
According to Marcus Buckingham, author of Go Put Your Strengths to Work, “Most people think your strengths are what you’re good at, and your weaknesses are what you’re bad at.” He explains that this isn’t a good way to measure your strengths and skills.
There may be a lot of things that you’re good at, but hate doing. Just because you’re good at something doesn’t make it a strength. You also must have a passion for what you’re doing—that’s what qualifies it as a strength.
“A better definition of a strength,” said Buckingham, “is an activity that makes you feel strong. And a weakness is an activity that makes you feel weak. Even if you’re good at it, if it drains you, that’s a weakness.”
He recommends writing down activities that drain you or energize you during a regular week. This will prohibit others from confirming or denying your strengths and weaknesses. Instead, you’re determining what they are without letting other people’s opinions influence you.
Once you have determined your strengths, you need to refine and sharpen your skills. “You grow the most, learn the most, develop the most in the areas where you already have some natural advantage,” said Buckingham.
According to Buckingham, there are four clear signs of a strength: 1. Success—This is effectiveness in the activity you are doing. 2. Instincts—Find those things that you instinctively look forward to, and capitalize on them. 3. Growth—You’re growing when you can concentrate on an activity, and time just flies by. 4. Needs—Some activities might make you tired, but they fulfill you.
Now that you know your strengths, it’s time to put them into action. From your list that you kept throughout the week, write down three strength statements. Buckingham said the statements should be “specific enough to conjure up passion within you, but general enough for you to apply every week.” He says you can’t build a career around your best unless you know your strengths. “It’s one of the skills of life.”
Do you know your true strengths? Are you at your best in your career or is it time to change paths.
By Zig Ziglar
My mother was widowed when I was five years old. Six of us were too young to work and it was the heart of the Depression. Her life was very hard. She had finished only the fifth grade, but she was one of the best teachers, communicators and role models I have ever seen. She educated us with little “sentence sermonettes,” which she repeated time after time. I’m certain she had never heard the phrase that “repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, and the architect of accomplishment,” but she was a great practitioner of that philosophy, perhaps without fully understanding it.
Some of the little “sentence sermonettes” she repeated to all of us on many occasions still register in my mind today. The one I perhaps heard the most was, “Tell the truth and tell it ever, costeth what it will; for he who hides the wrong he did, does the wrong thing still.” Another was, “When a task is once begun, you leave it not until it’s done.” As you think about those two little “sermonettes,” she was telling us that we should always tell the truth, regardless of what happens, and that if you do something wrong and try to hide it, you’ve just committed another wrong. The second one is very clear: When you start something, you’ve made a commitment to do it until it is completed. Those two lessons alone will take anyone who applies them continuously a long way in their journey through life.
Once I was grown and had started my own family, my mother was still communicating through her sermonettes. Her favorite, “Son, your children more attention pay, to what you do than what you say.” She understood instinctively that people – especially our children – might not believe everything we say, but they will believe everything we do. She apparently also understood that we can teach our children what we know, but we will reproduce what we are. That’s real communication. Give that approach a try, and I’ll SEE YOU AT THE TOP!
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