I recently read this life-changing book by Marcus Buckingham called Now, Discover Your Strengths.
To be honest, when I unwrapped it from its Amazon box, I discarded it in favour of some other brighter, funkier, sexier front covers (yes, Ms LaPorte, I’m looking at you). But, oh my, when I read it…
Finally, I understood something that had been niggling at me awhile.
Playing to your strengths is preferred
In the book, Buckingham explains the pointlessness of plugging away trying to improve your weaker traits in a bid to be well-rounded. The research shows that following the path of strengthening your better aspects can turn these traits into talents.
So, you mean, I’m allowed to not worry about the bits of me that aren’t up to scratch? I can use my talents to circumnavigate them? Score.
In fact, I should focus on my strengths in all situations, as weaker areas are never going to improve beyond competent. I should forget about the stuff I find hard and find another way to the end goal. Double score.
I didn’t need much selling on this concept, as you can see.
Plus, I’m a sucker for a personality test, so this book was a no-brainer.
I took the test that’s included…
Lo and behold my top strength from the StrengthsFinder exercise was Activation, AKA the ability to get shit started.
Numero dos was Ideation, meaning a love of new ideas.
Following closely behind were: Significance, Command, Communication.
Explains a lot
Ideation wasn’t a surprise. Shiny new things interest me. Too much. Many people complain that this is them too, but now I have proof that I’m biologically wired to start things, come up with ideas, and chase new concepts. All the flipping time.
Enter distraction, quickly getting bored, and zilcho follow-up.
Here’s what I was up to at the time of reading Now, Discover Your Strengths…
I’d made a commitment to myself to blog for 30 days straight. A commitment to myself is a bit of an understatement. I’d publicly announced that I’d be blogging every day for a month. And then birthday plans, welcome home parties, and photo shoots on the beach with talented photographers kind of looked shinier and newer and the blogging fell by the wayside a little.
I say a little…
I forgot about my darling project for not one but four days straight.
So, what to do?
Well, acting on my discovered strengths, I have renewed my excitement for my blogging commitment by extending it by a week.
I was looking forward to this challenge being over and taking a little rest before diving back in at the Problogger conference in Melbourne in two weeks. And yet, I find myself extending it because… ideas! Ideas and lots of them. I’m itching to get writing.
Playing to the ideation and initiation strengths, I reframed the ‘challenge’ as pleasure. And now I’ll be doing all activities through the strengths lens.
Makes total sense.
If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend Buckingham’s book. If I were a star rating kinda gal, this would be a solid five out of five.
Do yourself a favour and pick up your copy (buy brand new to get the activation code and take the test for yourself). Simply life-changing.