Strengths and Action/Inaction, Part 1

August 28, 2015

Through strengths-guided actions we create lasting and meaningful changes in our lives. The strengths guide us away from inaction.

Every action we take initiates changes in our lives that affect the whole world. Say, for example, we choose parking spot A over parking spot B. As it turns out, parking spot A gets us a door ding, which sends us to the autoshop where we run into our old flame from high school and six months later we’re married…all thanks to parking spot A.

I am sure, by now, we’ve all heard of the butterfly effect.

After all, each action we take puts us in touch with new possibilities and new potential. From something as small as choosing a parking spot to something as grand as choosing a partner or a new pet.

Our actions may not spark a revolution overnight. They might not even seem to affect anything much in the moment. Nevertheless, every step and every breath we’ve ever taken has led us to where we are now. We, alone, are the common denominator in our lives. A series of countless actions, taken as a whole, to create this life.  As they say, “Roads lead to roads.” All of our decisions are interconnected.

Like it or not, what we do matters.

So, where is this all going?

There is another saying, “We cannot un-ring a bell.” And every moment of our lives is the ringing of a bell. Time only runs in one direction, right?

Sure, we can revisit the past through conversation and evaluate, explain, and deepen our understanding of what has happened. True, we can mend what has been broken. We can learn. But, we can never un-live a moment or, in any real sense, un-do an action. Literally.

What a tremendous gift! What an amazing responsibility we are given in life…to live in a reality where nothing can be taken back! Where every single thing we do (or do not do) ripples out into the future forever—in sometimes big, sometimes small ways.

A reality where nothing is static, where we are constantly changing.


A microscope will tell us as much. Right now there are 7 x 1027 atoms making up each one of our bodies—and they are all moving.

That, by the way, is this many atoms:

7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 / seven billion billion billion

And, that’s right, they’re all buzzing around and changing places at speeds so fast that they give the impression of stillness. Of solidity.

Even at rest, we are in constant motion.

So, the question becomes, what are we to do with this reality where everything is changing? The strengths would tell us, “Get in the zone!” Because that is where the nectar is. The zone is where everything else drops away and we feel tuned in to our life’s purpose.

When we are living from our strengths we know easily and naturally what actions to take. We do not second-guess ourselves. Our confidence grows. All of which is the opposite of what happens when we take no action, denying our strengths.

When we are in the zone we are likely living in the moment and living in our strengths, and when we are living in our strengths we are likely taking action and making changes that our future selves will agree with and appreciate.

So, how to get there? Noticing our strengths is a start and acknowledging them in ourselves and others. It sharpens our instinct and our reflex to respond to situations from a place of strength and action.

Because most decisions start with a choice, the best way to get into a strengths mindstate is through awareness. The more aware we are, the more options we perceive. And the more options we recognize, the more potential we see being available to us.

Can we feel our billions upon billions of atoms moving? What qualities of our strengths are so alive within us that they bring us to that still quiet place of life’s great meaning? What action can we take right now that moves us toward a greater strengths awareness?

Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.

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