Strengths and Others

August 13, 2015

Our strengths give us precise reference points. By accepting others for their strengths we learn new ways to accept ourselves.

Hard as we’ve tried, most of us know by now that we cannot control another person. We can influence, guide, and encourage them, we can provide them with opportunities and resources—we can even yell and scream at them. And, still, when it comes down to it, that person can do as they please.

Giving advice that’s ignored/ignoring advise that’s given…it can be frustrating, it can be surprising, and it can be unbelievable. Chances are, nevertheless, that we’ve been on both sides of this set-up. (Weren’t we all once teenagers?)

However, when we are truly living from our strengths we need not be on either side of most scenarios. Because when we are living from our core place of value and vision, there is no room for a me/them split. There is only an us, and contained within that us is infinite potentiality, whose core fuel is, in fact, our differences. One hand washing the other.

The strengths, after all, provide us with a lens to see everyone as an equal without being the same.

Sure, the activator may not see eye-to-eye with the deliberative person. Or, one person’s context might be at odds with another’s futuristic. But, isn’t that the point? Don’t the strengths put us in direct alignment with perspectives that are different than ours so that we might see ourselves and the world more clearly?

Architects, after all, will place strikingly modern buildings next to historic ones as a way of drawing out the unique aesthetic of each. The old forming a backdrop for the elegance of the new—and vice versa. One isn’t good or bad because the other is different. It’s the difference itself that highlights the other’s beauty.

Isn’t that the attraction of all this? That through the language of the strengths we can see other people for their qualities as opposed to their defects. And that we don’t need to be like that person, or even want to be like that person, in order to see that the way they are is valuable.

And what about those who seem to have given up? How can we live in our strengths when we are among others who are not? How can we rise up and truly go for it this life, when we know that some people are simply not interested?

A sane place to start and end this question (and, perhaps, most questions) might be contained in a word. Acceptance.

Can we accept others for their strengths, knowing that they are not our own? Can we accept ourselves for our strengths, knowing that others might not understand them?

Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.

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