Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Champion's Mindset - Knowing One's Strengths

The first step to developing the champion's mindset is to take an honest appraisal of oneself and one's strengths. Someone mentioned it to me yesterday (and I do believe it myself) that the hardest thing is to know one's strength. One may not recognize one's strengths by introspection, so it may help to get the perspective of your friends and family, of people who know you well. I normally ask participants to find out 5 strengths from 5 known people, including one's parents to get a bunch of strengths. From these strengths, we must identify the stuff that makes us the champion. One can ask for that one quality as well, that is champion material to get an idea of what it is that makes you a champion.

Introspect On Strengths
This is an exercise that needs to be introspected upon. One needs to get comfortable with one's strengths as in being able to say 'I am a balanced individual, who is a good writer, a good communicator, a resilient person, a people-friendly person, a thinker, a cricketer, a dream chaser, a tryer....'. That is what comes to me as I write now about myself. But I am sure I will find someone saying something that will surprise me.

Verbalise It - Get Comfortable Saying It
I also realize that the more I verbalise this statement - I use this method of introducing myself elaborately every time I speak in a lecture or in a workshop - and now I do feel quite comfortable with myself as a person who can speak management, life skills and cricket. Somewhere in the set of strengths lies the strength or the combination of strengths that will bring out the champion in you.

Which One Is It?
It is normally pretty obvious. It is what everyone tells you that you are obsessed with. It is what you are obsessed with. It could be playing cricket (so you think you will be a Tendulkar huh, stop wasting your time), electronics (that guy's crazy, it's like he will win the Nobel Prize or something), dressing up dolls, cooking, acting. miming, singing, dancing, painting, making could be just about anything. People make a career out of anything, it is just that they need to feel that yes, this is what makes me tick, this is what I will do even if the whole world laughs at me, this is what I will do for hours and hours...
I could play cricket for hours one end. When I found someone I played with them, when I did not find someone I'd play with the wall. I'd play imaginary test cricket with my brother and kept detailed records of all the players I played and calculated their averages.
Similarly I could write letters to everyone I loved (it was easy to love everyone sometime ago), long, funny letters to my friends who I'd think needed a laugh. Sometimes I'd write letters to my friends abroad on borrowed money. But I loved writing letters, then articles, then stories and then longer stories.
You know your strengths somehow, you know what you're made for. Ask yourself if the cause is worthy, pick up the relevant strengths, and go for it!

No comments: