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Developing our strengths

Developing our strengths

Although we usually see our weaknesses as more changeable than our strengths, research shows that we should not focus on improving our weak parts, but to develop our strengths.

@hjoy2020

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Identifying strengths

Try to see your strengths in relation to what energizes you. Something is a strength if: 

  • it makes you feel successful
  • you're drawn to it
  • it fully engages you
  • after doing that activity, you feel energized and fulfilled.
Ask the people around you

It's difficult for us to see our own strengths, but people around us (friends, coworkers, family members, mentors) will most likely see them clearly.

The goal is to identify things that you wouldn't have thought of on your own—or to find patterns.

Create a list of your accomplishments

The ones you are most proud of. 

Look at the list and try to identify what every accomplishment says about you. Any of the insights you gather could be your strengths, particularly if those strengths match up with what others told you your strengths were.

  • Start by taking a class or reading online tutorials. 
  • Think about the constructive criticism you've received.
  • Develop related skills. Learn something that will make you better at your core strength, taking into consideration your long-term plans.
  • Use your strengths. The more you use them, the more people will recognize you for those strengths.
  • Teach someone else. People learn better when they have to teach what they've learned to others.

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RELATED IDEAS

Focus On Baby Steps

For some goals, you need to sustain something for a long time, but most can be broken down into smaller, more approachable goals. 

Dividing goals makes the process seem less overwhelming and completing the parts of it gives you a sense of accomplishment you wouldn’t get if you were aiming for the larger goal.

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IDEAS

  • The 80/20 method: You can get 80 % proficiency in a subject in about 6 - 12 months.
  • The 10,000-hour rule: You can become an expert at something if you spend 10,000 hours of deliberate practice on it. 

To go from zero to 80% (good enough) requires a different approach than that needed to get from 80% - 99% (world-class). The last 20% also requires a different level of commitment. For instance, Stephen King spent 6 - 8 hours daily for ten years before he succeeded as a commercial writer.

How to recognize your strengths

If you want to excel at anything, it’s not enough to fix your weaknesses. You also need to leverage your strengths.

If you want to recognize your strengths, you need other people to hold up a mirror. When you see your reflection through the eyes of those who know you well, you can begin to identify your most unique talents.