My perspective has almost done a 180 today. I began the day thinking about qualities others possess which I wish were mine. While driving to work this morning, I pictured people in my life and the natural skills they possess that I wish I had. For example, I have a friend who isn’t afraid to voice her opinion, and isn’t afraid for others to disagree with her. I struggle with speaking up, being wrong, fear of sounding like an idiot, and would like to become more like her in that sense.
Here are the other items I put on my “Jealous of You” list while commuting this morning:
- People who aren’t afraid to act without a lot of preparation. Quick on their feet.
- People who work for themselves –> building their own dream instead of someone else’s.
- People who are dedicated to their exercise schedule & enjoy it. Or at least pretend to.
- Those who consistently travel to faraway places they have never been. People who go on adventures regularly.
- People who are passionate about their careers.
So I list all this stuff out, ready to figure out how to grow these opportunities of mine.
And then I began listening to a podcast I downloaded last night, which so happened to be about honing in on your strengths. It’s called Take Control of Your Career and Your Life with Marcus Buckingham. He did a workshop with Oprah and about 20 women and I stumbled across it while jumping from blog to blog last night. I found so much good stuff! My mind raced until 11. It was dumb.
So I’m listening to the podcast at work, and Marcus (in his British accent) says, “your greatest opportunities for growth come out of your strengths, not your weaknesses.”
That’s weird. Think about that for a moment. Greatest growth, from strengths.
As we go along in life, in school, at work, we talk for very few minutes about what a great job we did on one thing, and spend a large amount of time discussing what we can do to improve on all other areas. Makes sense to me. I’m already really good at organizing and executing meetings, so there’s no need to put any more focus on it or time into it. Right?
For example, Marcus hates mingling and small talk at parties. He has learned that about himself; it’s his truth. So why do it? Why should he push himself from being dreadful at making small talk, to becoming kind-of-still-bad-at-it years later? He prefers to hang around those he already knows, and have meaningful conversations with friends while at cocktail parties.
As I’m writing this, it just seems wrong, but relieving at the same time! That example I could identify with. I SUCK at talking to strangers, which is why I made it a 30 day challenge for this year! But, should I be placing my efforts elsewhere? Should I be focusing on something I’m already good at in order to benefit from the most growth?
I didn’t put “30-Day Vegetarian Challenge” on the list because I don’t feel it would demand much of me, or help me grow. As many of you know, I eat vegetarian meals by choice much of the time.
But what would happen if I selected a strength, and poured focus and energy into it?
I don’t know…
What do you think?