Strengths and Solutions

LondonLifeEDITJanuary 15, 2016

3.5 Minute Read

(275 Words)

John Lennon perfectly describes a strengths mindset when he says, “There are no problems, only solutions.”

And, while this idea may seem perplexing at first, when we look at the core of his thought, he’s simply talking about perspective.

Are we focused on the problem or are we focused on the solution?

In the same way that we cannot simultaneously see both sides of a single coin, we cannot see problems and solutions simultaneously. We can pay attention to one or the other, but not both at once.

Now, consider this line of thinking when it comes to living from our strengths.

Are we focused on what we do best or on what we consider to be our struggles?

This, too, is related to our perspective.

We might then say, with the right perspective, “There are no weaknesses, only strengths.”

One of the best actions we can take is to develop a greater awareness of our strengths and how we can embody them more fully in our daily lives.

We can do this by checking in with ourselves at regular intervals and simply asking, “Am I living from my strengths?” When done consistently, this action becomes second-nature and we begin to live fluidly from a state of strength.

The moment we take action—any action—to better our lives and improve our situation, we begin living in the solution.

This is because we cannot be both problem-minded and solution-minded. Just as, we cannot be both strong and weak at the same moment.

When we focus on solutions, we no longer have problems…we have only solutions.

When we focus on strengths, we find that we only have strengths.

Three Questions

What are my strengths?

What makes me feel most alive?

What action can I take today to feel more alive—even if it’s something as “small” as putting an activity on the calendar, or sending an email, or taking a quick walk.

5 Minute Action 

Letter from Your 100 Year Old Self to Your Present Self

It’s simple: Imagine yourself at age 100 and consider the advice that you would give yourself about your life right now.

This exercise can help provide perspective on the challenges of today.

After all, can’t we all look back on our “problems” from 5, 10, even 20 years ago and say, “If I knew then what I know now…”

Because we are asked to grow from any challenge, when we overcome it and change we are able to look back with wiser eyes—which is a perspective we earn only by making it to the other side of any obstacle.

What are your obstacles today and what type of attitude would your 100 year old self advise you to take?

Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.

Circle Photo

Zach Carlsen is the grateful lead blogger at

His strengths of Ideation, Connectedness, Input, Strategic, and Empathy have taken him all over the world. He is an inventor, athlete, joyous wanderer/wonderer, translator, poet, and Strengths Consultant.

Connect with him:


Twitter: @zstrengthslife

Facebook: Zachary Carlsen



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