Strengths and Puppies

September 28, 2015

We are always changing and growing, the strengths provide a toolset that allows us to get specific in the ways we track our evolution.

Most of us can agree on one thing: puppies are the cutest.

And, if we’ve ever been with someone in the first days of their new pet we know how genuine happiness looks. The carefree energy of the young animal somehow draws us into a place of peace and joy. It’s their defense mechanism. It’s nice to be around. As babies, we too, held the same tactic.

Now, let’s imagine that we go out of town for a while and return to find, not a puppy, but a dog. To us, it might not even seem like the same animal, while to the owner it might not seem like the dog has grown at all.

This is called the “puppy effect”. It’s what happens when we witness gradual changes over time such that we don’t really notice them.

And, it’s perhaps easiest to experience this phenomenon within our own self. After all, we spend all of our time being ourselves, so much so that it is easy to overlook change as it happens incrementally. In some ways this is natural, in other ways it may allow for some of our greatest achievements to fade into the background.

Without a language to articulate our unique greatnesses, it is difficult to truly benchmark our individual successes and growth. Without a system to track and measure our development we are likely to sell ourselves short. Luckily, the strengths provide us with a vocabulary that makes the amorphous tangible and the abstract specific.

With that in mind, it may become important to not only think about our strengths, but to actually keep record of when, where, why, and how they are playing a role in our lives.

The simplest way of doing this is by setting aside a few moments each day for reflection. Taking two minutes—that’s right two minuets—to jot down a few thoughts about the development of our strengths perspective provides a record that we can later look back on. It creates concrete reference points that we can compare our current thought-process to that of days gone by.

Without a journal of this type, are we able to see and track our growth and development? What are other ways and methods that we could use to benchmark our greatness? Is it important for all of us to even be keeping tabs on such evolutions? Is this something that keeps us in the moment, out of the moment, little bit of both, neither, depends on the day, depends on the person?

Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.

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