Identifying TRUE strengths is a chronic point of confusion for most people. This is because we tend to limit our definition of strengths to stuff we do well. This; however, is only half of the equation. And in my opinion, the least important half.
The Other Half? Sheer Passion. What juices, inspires, energizes, & completes you? These are the tasks that leave us feeling on fire, purposeful, & fulfilled. We all have them… The things that engage us so fully we lose track of time. That we do without distraction – our e-world induced ADD in check and under wraps. In other words, no ping, beep, or vibration pulls our attention from this fabulous task we in which we are totally immersed. Down the Rabbit Hole On An Adventure of a Lifetime.
Here’s the caveat… We all have things we LOVE but aren’t particularly adept. For example, I love to golf. I would play every day if I could. I am highly average on my best day. I have no market cornered, no exploitable asset, no unique niche. Love without elite performance equals hobby. Hobbies are awesome. Know yours, enjoy, but be clear that it is pleasure source – not a true strength.
And we all have amazing talents and skills that simply don’t fire us up. Recently, I talked with a woman who is uber-talented at labor negotiations. She always gets called to the table to deliver. No one is better. However, it literally depletes her energy & leaves her drained. Thus, in my book, this is not a strength. I’m not suggesting eradicating these tasks from life, but it’s worth making a conscious decision about how much time you are willing to spend because sacrificing your satisfaction & energy is rarely worth the coin.
The sweet spot is the intersection of PASSION & TALENT. These are your true strengths, and in my mind, the key to discovering lifelong joy & jazz professionally. We all perform at our peak when we’re doing work we’re built to do & that we love. It’s that simple.
Finding your sweet spot is requires 10 minutes. Write down all of the tasks / skills you love & all of the ones you’re awesome at. Identify the overlap, & voila, you’ve found your sweet spot. Compare this to how you spend your time, and do everything in your power to move closer to your sweet spot. Small Print: If your employer gets employee engagement, they will love that you’ve done this & help you achieve your goals.
Here are some awesome quotes about strengths:
“True strength is not necessarily about skill or adeptness. It‘s about vitality…. Enthusiasm is a great indicator of your true strengths. The immediate “I love it!” response, the game you‘ve got to get in to, the cause you can‘t walk away from, the idea that makes you pause and then nod, “Oh, this is a good one, a really good one.” Enthusiasm evokes a determined “no matter what -ness”. It wakes us up in the middle of the night with fresh ideas. Enthusiasm creates a flurry of connections and marvelous events” Danielle LaPorte
Whenever there is enthusiasm, there is a creative empowerment that goes far beyond what a mere person is capable of. Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
“Enter every activity without giving mental recognition to the possibility of defeat. Concentrate on your strengths instead of your weaknesses… on your power instead of your problems.” Paul Meyer
A strength is what you do that makes you feels strengthened! It‘s not necessarily what you‘re good at, or what you‘re capable of—it‘s what feels amazing when you do it! A weakness is stuff you do that makes you feel weakened!“ – Marcus Buckingham