Part 1 | Strengths and Combinations: Why It Matters What Actions We Take and Whom We Take Them With

HumanConnectionLifeEDITFebruary 15, 2016

5 Ideas, 3 Questions, and an Action

Five Ideas

Innovators are combining piezoelectric crystals with the force created by our thumbs when we text to create technology that would charge smartphones while messages are typed; other researchers designed 13,000 square-foot kites that fly a thousand feet above ocean liners, pulling them along and reducing their fuel consumption.

Humans are great at finding ways of making use of what is already there and bettering it. And, maybe that’s what true innovation is: Connecting things that already exist with potential that was always there.

Innovation lets a huge ship tap into the infinite wind; it lets our fingers power the device they were already tapping on in the first place.

The art is finding the synergistic qualities between things; as, piezoelectric crystals on a boat wouldn’t save anymore energy than tying a giant kite to a cellphone would. It’s about finding the right pieces for the right projects. 2 + 2 doesn’t always equal 4. So, in that sense, it matters both what we do and whom we do it with.

Developing a strengths mindset by checking in each day with ourselves and focusing on our qualities, instead of our defects, builds an awareness of what we can best offer in a given scenario. Practicing this, we also learn how to look for strengths in others and see them as potential collaborators as opposed to potential threats.

Three Questions

Who are the five people whom I spend the most time with on an average week?

How do these people affect my energy level? Do I feel more or less energized after interacting with them? And, why?

Are there shifts that I can make related to my interactions with them that would allow me to maintain and grow in my daily energy?

An Action

Desired Result: Generate Energy Anytime and Anywhere Without Coffee

Concrete Action: By consciously applying specific thoughts, the mind can tap into an energy source that can fuel us when we are feeling drained. We’ve all probably felt down in the dumps and then suddenly been energized by a conversation, a phone call, or a memory. That is a dynamic that we can tap into at anytime, develop, and use intentionally. Here’s a great way to see how this works and to start your practice. Write down three words on a notecard: 1. the name of someone who makes you happy (family, celebrity, cartoon, anyone), 2. a word that makes you feel calm (serenity, ocean, chamomile, anything), 3. an image that brings you peace (lighthouse, prairie, babies laughing). Now take that note card and carry it around with you in your pocket. When you are feeling drained or demoralized, pull it out and recite the three words over and over again. Close your eyes and recite them in your mind. Do it for at least 60 seconds.

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

One thought on “Part 1 | Strengths and Combinations: Why It Matters What Actions We Take and Whom We Take Them With

  1. With my thought process on the daily challenges of change, being in the “now”, and transforming the mind by renewing our thoughts and information intake, I believe your site would be very enlightening in the “how to” process. I look forward to reading more of what you share.

    Liked by 2 people

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