You know what I want? I want to be in a place where I find myself bounding out of bed each morning looking forward to doing whatever it is that I'm about to do.
Don't we all?
I had the opportunity over the weekend to view a DVD series entitled Trombone Player Wanted which was developed to help the viewer find their strengths and learn to play to them on a daily basis. One of the things that struck me as fascinating was the actual definition of a strength. If someone were to ask me what my strengths were I would immediately begin listing things that I'm good at: administration, organization, meeting deadlines, etc. The speaker in the DVD, Mar.cus Bu.cki.ngham defines a strength not as something you are good at but an activity, that leaves you feeling strong. I had to think about that. I'm good at what I do, but my daily activities on the job do not leave me feeling strong. They leave me feeling drained, weak even. If that's the case, how can these things be classified as strengths? They can't. Who wants to come home everyday feeling like a wrung out dish rag? I need to get my strength back.
You would think the answer to the question, "What are your strengths?" would be intuitively obvious. For me, it is not as transparent as I thought it would be. One thing I do know for sure, what I'm doing ain't it. While watching the series I was able to pinpoint a few things that can be classified as strengths: my ability to encourage others and to present information. There was a period in my life when I worked for a direct sales company ... alright, alright it was M.ary K.ay ... anyway I loved the chance to get up in front of these women and show them how to take care of their skin. I loved telling them how beautiful they were and how easy it would be to do all of this at home. I loved everything about it, booking the appointments, explaining the product and the processes. I was always so energized before and after a class. My only problem (and it was a pretty big one) was that I had no ability when it came to closing the sale. I ultimately failed at this venture because I bought more of that crap than I sold and I just assumed that the product would sell itself.
Identifying my strengths and finding ways to play to them on a daily basis are the key points in the DVD series. It's harder than it sounds but I'm for it. Hey! That's another strength: facing challenges.