October 9, 2015
What we emphasize in our thinking, we find more of in the world. When we emphasize strengths, we find ourselves surrounded by them.
It’s very simple. What we think most about, we find more of in the world.
We’ve all likely had the experience where we notice a sound—a dripping faucet, a ticking clock, someone who scrapes their fork when they eat—and after a point it becomes the only noise we hear. Our minds hone in and focus on that sound until it gains all of our attention and drowns out everything else.
The same dynamic is present in our global perceptions, too. That is, the big ideas that we live by are really just the select few that we’ve chosen to focus on (out of the billions out there). Our values. Our beliefs. Our philosophies. We cannot ascribe to everything, so, at some point we decide what stays and what goes–and the ideas that we keep become the basis of our worldview. They become the foundation of our reality.
In other words, we train our minds to locate and perceive specific things by thinking along certain lines. That which we consider to be relevant to our lives, interests, and well being, we detect. Almost everything else we either gloss over, block out, or ignore.
Imagine, for example, what a vegan and a meat-lover would notice in a brand new grocery store. They would certainly hone-in on different products. Because they have unlike needs they do not perceive the same things—even though they are in the same place, doing the same thing: grocery shopping.
What we deem important, we find because we look for it. And, it is worthwhile to remember that we don’t all believe that the same things are important. So, in that way, we are all noticing and remembering different and various details.
Reality is based on our past experiences, present knowledge, desires, and fears as well as our perceptions. The fact that two people are in the same space does not mean that they are having the same experience.
Another easy way to see this is by observing an over-protective parent around their child. Say, for example, that they are walking though a forest on a path. To the child, the world is virtually one big playground and danger-free–tree to climb, berries to eat, things to pick up and throw. To the parent it is fraught with danger and risk–places to trip and fall, poisonous plants, deadly insects.
In reality, it’s neither and both.
Because, reality, in this case, is about what is anticipated—for the child it is fun; for the adult it is safety. And, so, the child looks for fun and finds it, and the parent looks for safety and finds it.
The strengths give us specific ideas to frame our thoughts around–they give us a litany of things to anticipate. They give us concrete words to look for and…find. Not just in our own lives, but in the world and in the lives of others.
If we try to live outside of our strengths, we are likely trying to find what we are not best equipped to see. It’s like reversing the roles of the parent/child in the forest—can we imagine the child trying to be over-protective of the parent? And the parent on a mad-quest for fun?
Probably not. The child and parent are wired to seek and find their appropriate realities.
By honing in on our strengths and the language of strengths, we can maximize our chances of finding realities that push us into greater and greater potentials.
What are we looking for in the world? What is our dominant thought process? How are we wired? What is our natural course of action in situations? How often are we tuning into ourselves or to the voices of others?
Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.