Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Using the Strength

One of the things we figure out on the path to achieve our dream, to fulfill our potential, to push our limits etc, is that we quickly figure out what our strengths are. This clarity only happens when it comes to the brass tacks, when we are let off in the deep end, when we really want to make it happen. Otherwise we are floating around in life trying to mess with our weaknesses ('I will work on my weaknesses' or 'we should not forget that we have weaknesses' etc) and thereby, keeping away any success that could come our way. The quicker you realise that you can get farthest only by figuring out your biggest strength, and honing it to the maximum, the better. All champions do this, they are very aware of their strengths, and use them well. Be it a forehand, an attacking temperament, a strong defense, long hours of concentration...each has his own, and plays to it.

To me knowing strengths is like knowing the strongest features of a product. It is best to know your strong features, and not worry about your weaknesses. Weaknesses take you nowhere, strengths do. See how any product is sold and you know. Most people find it rather impractical when I ask them to forget about their weaknesses and only focus on their strengths. 'It is not practical,' they say. But I insist - you get exactly what you are looking for so you better look for your strengths.

Often I find (in workshops specially) that we are very apologetic about our existence. Since we are rather modest about our strengths, it helps to get others' opinions on our strengths. Even after getting that, most of us still disbelieve our strengths. 'This looks too good to be true,' they say. It is necessary then that we get comfortable with our strengths, our features. All champions flaunt their strengths arrogantly. We don't need to be arrogant - just aware, and comfortable. It helps to talk to oneself, in the mirror, to verbalise the same. It also helps to understand why such a strength has been attributed to you - specific incidents that you can recall or that others can tell you can affirm the same. Maybe noting them down if you are the noting down types.

Once we are comfortable with the whole list of strengths, it is a good idea to rank them. (And even better to get a list of strengths in order of rank from others - to cross check). Once you get say, your five best strengths, then it is important to know what one can do with these features. Else we are like a gadget that knows it is full of features, but does not know what to do with these wonderful features. So against the top most strengths, please write along side, the value that this strength brings to you and to others. And then, after that, write the benefit that this strength brings to you and others. Knowing what your strength can do and some idea of its value gives you much confidence in using it, in honing it, so it gives you maximum return in whatever area you wish to use it.

It is as simple as this. Do what you can do well.

No comments: