Strengths and Discovery


October 26, 2015

In the last five years scientists discovered more than 200 new species of life in the Eastern Himalayas.  Among the animals found was a blue dwarf walking snakehead fish (say that five times really fast) which can survive for four days on land breathing air.  They also discovered a monkey with an upturned nose who sneezes uncontrollably when it rains.  Add to that 133 new plant species, 39 invertebrates, 25 other fish, one bird and a reptile and it’s beginning to look like a pretty busy time for discoveries.

While the Himalayas are, indeed, remote, they are still just one tiny part of the planet.  Which begs the questions: How much more is there to discover in our world?  After all, we have more footage of deep space than we do of our own deep seas.  Is it possible that we have all but scratched the surface?  So, really, if all of these animals have just been walking around, why are we only discovering them now?

The answer is, of course, related to our perspective.  Meaning, these are discoveries to us—those of us who are not living in the Himalayas—but they are surely not discoveries to those who are living there.

Imagine someone from Jupiter coming into our backyards and declaring that they discovered housecats, robins, and earthworms, simply because they’d never seen them before!

That is to say that outsiders—scientists—discovered these animals; the locals, however, were understandably unimpressed by their findings.

So, then, what truly is a discovery?  Are there various “versions” of discovery?  For example, things that no one has ever seen vs. things that are simply brand new to us.  Is one better, more extravagant and significant than the other?  Or, is a discovery a discovery?

What about when we think about ourselves?  Our lives?  Our paths?

Do we have areas within us that are like the Himalayas, places where diverse and vast qualities remain unseen and untapped?  Are some of these qualities known only to a few (the locals) and unknown to the rest of the world?

Could the world benefit from learning about these wildlife preserves within us?

And, really, what is left for us to discover about ourselves?  Can we continue to uncover new qualities about our inner-world at any age?

Is it possible for someone else to teach us about ourselves and to guide us into discoveries within us, things that only we could reveal with help?

If the strengths do anything consistently, they light the way.  Each strength is like a buoy in the waters of our lives—they rise and fall with the water regardless of the direction of the wind.  We can use our strengths to discover qualities of ourselves in all the realms—personal, interpersonal, social, civic, political, financial, and spiritual arenas.

But, what is the best way to access them?

. . .

What are five things that you are curious about?

Are these the same sorts of things that you were curious about as a child?

Are there explicit ways that this curiosity ties into your strengths?

If you are not curious about anything now, could you begin to consider things to be curious about as you go about your day?

Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.

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