August 17, 2015
When we let go of the ‘shoulds’ in our lives, we see a new world rich with ‘coulds’.
What would life be like if we denied our strengths?
Imagine trying to find a four-leaf clover with a blindfold on. What might our process look like? Would we lie on the earth, navigating by touch between delicate stems, never certain if we had one or two or three petals between our fingers, never certain what we held? Or, maybe we would pull the clover out in clumps and sort through the tiny plants one by one, discarding them over our shoulder?
Isn’t this what it feels like at times to live outside of our strengths. No direction, no vision, no sense of scale…no point.
Knowing that clover hunting is infinitely easier with our eyes, we would certainly ask ourselves, “What’s the point of this?” After all, how would we even know how big the field was if we could only measure it by touch?
More than that, the blindfold adds nothing to the value of what is discovered—it isn’t like an athlete who challenges herself with harder and harder drills, thereby gaining strength and agility. No, it simply takes more time, more energy, and more resources with a blindfold. In fact, it nearly rules out the possibility altogether of achieving success.
Yet, how many of us have been so caught up in how something “should” be done that we forget to ask ourselves, “What’s the best way that I could do this?”
Living our lives with a working (and evolving) knowledge of our strengths can deliver us to the core and purpose of each action we take. It can illuminate our routines with new and renewed meaning.
The strengths provide us with the right tools and the right approach at the right time. They can help us avoid using a spoon for work better suited to a shovel and vice versa.
Once we know our strengths, we can find examples of their truth in our lives. And once we have seen our strengths in action—and named them—we have crossed a point of no return. We can never ‘unknow’ that.
Nevertheless, denying our strengths can be easy to do. And when we live in this manner—diverting our worldview away from the them because it’s familiar, more comfortable—we are essentially tying a blindfold around our greatness, limiting our potential.
Importantly, through the strengths we can see this: what is limiting to one person might be liberating for another. Having a clear-cut, tried-and-true, no-wiggle-room agenda for action might be heaven to someone who is strong in discipline or consistency but hell for those high in adaptability, harmony, or includer.
Are you using any shovels for the work of a spoon? Do you have any blindfolds? Are you looking for any four-leaf clovers? How are your strengths coming into play in all that you seek?
Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.