Part Two | Strengths and Pixels: Why Living from Our Strengths Is Like Living in HiDef

SpinningLifeEDITFebruary 10, 2016 

5 Ideas, 3 Questions, and an Action

Five Ideas + a moral

Let’s imagine for a second that we are standing with our nose pressed against the screen of the most epic, top-of-the-line, state-of-the-art big screen HD TV.

More than likely, at that distance we would see nothing but pixels—a colorful matrix of indistinguishable squares.

The moving colors might be pretty, even hypnotizing, but is that really the best use of this technology—to stand with our face pressed against it?  No.  The true value of pixels is found when we step back and take them all in—when they can be seen all at once.

Up close things can seem like abstract chaos, but at a distance we can see with startling clarity what is in front of us.  By putting a bit of distance between us and the screen, we are able go from seeing in pixels to seeing the big picture.

This, too, is what happens in our lives—when we are going through something difficult, we are likely living our lives moment-by-moment (which is like seeing a screen pixel-by-pixel) and life can feel all up in our face—impossible, confusing, and grim.  It isn’t until we push forward and get some distance from our experiences that we are able to look back and see the whole picture, the true value, and the meaning of it all and how everything connects.

Moral of the story: It might not all make sense at the moment, but it will down the line.

Three Questions

What are some of the pixels in my life today?  (That is, what are some of the circumstances in my life that I am so close to that I cannot necessarily see the full value of this experience?)

Am I living life to the fullest?

Who are some people in my life who live in hi-def?

An Action

Desired Result: To explore a new perspective on myself 

Concrete Action: Grab a piece of paper and respond to the following prompt: If I were a work of art, what type of art would I be and why?  This can mean anything.  Consider the specific ideas contained within your answer.  For example, are you a painting, a sculpture, a performance, music, experimental, classical, modern, abstract, big, small, in a museum, private collection, public art, edible art, wearable, jewelry, etc.  And, then, why?  Why those specific qualities?  What might your response say about your inner world and your thoughts about yourself, the world, and others?

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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