Writing It Down, Part One

August 12, 2015

When we document the evidence of our greatness, it becomes easier and easier to spot.

We all know what shopping can be like without first making a list. We go in to ‘grab a few things’ and we walk out with a new swimsuit, two gallons of Nutella, patchouli scented lip balm, and some toilet paper.

That’s at the store, but it can be easy to float through entire days in that way too—weeks even. So, what changes when we write things down? Is there some sort of power inherent in a list that focuses our energies and our efforts?

Perhaps. Writing, for one, calls on us to stop and reflect and momentarily gaze into the past and future. Even for a grocery list, we rewind last week’s tape to determine if we will need more of something for this week.

Reflection in all its forms is an act of mindfulness, it locates patterns and helps revise our ever-developing sense of the world. Having this awareness can support meaningful decision making and make us better prepared to live in our greatness.

Imagine applying this principle to our strengths. Imagine taking a moment to stop, reflect, and write down a.) when and how we lived in our strengths that day, and b.) how might our strengths be called upon in the days to come. Do we have a presentation at work, a birthday party at the neighbors, a new relationship, a growing to-do list?

Day by day, this would create a running list documenting our excellence. Imagine adding even one example per day. At the end of a year we would all have 365 concrete reasons to believe and see that we rock.

Not only that, running future scenarios through a strengths lens creates clarity by devloping what can be called a strengths reflex. That is, when we have considered beforehand how we might bring our strengths to the table, we go into that situation looking for ways to use them.

What does your list look like today? Where were you truly in the zone? Have you found your groove for the week? What action could you take—looking into tomorrow—that might prepare your strengths reflex?

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