Part 3 | Strengths and Combinations: Why It Matters What Actions We Take and Whom We Take Them With

AntLifeEDITFebruary 19, 2016

5 Ideas, 3 Questions, and an Action

Five Ideas

Thinking about collaboration…

Here’s an important question: If all the ants in the world united, could they carry us off into the sea?

The answer is: Maybe. And here’s why: Ants can lift between 20-100 times their body weight above their head. While this is impressive, all by itself it doesn’t mean that they could stage a take over. Right?

But get this: Not only do ants outnumber us 14,000 to 1, the total weight of all the ants in the world is greater than that of all the humans. Which is to say that ants outweigh us on the planet.

Connect the two dots: If all the ants got together and lifted even the minimum (20x their body weight) above their heads, there would be enough collective strength for them to carry all of us around!

Which brings up a comical, but interesting and open-ended idea to consider over the weekend: If they have that collective potential, what is stopping them from acting on it? And, do we have similar unused potentials within our communities and lives?

Three Questions

Have I chosen my collaborators in this life? Am I letting life hand me “whoever” or am I actively seeking out those who might empower me—this includes real people, books, videos, podcasts, lectures, etc.

Why do I do what I do? What is my single greatest motivator for being here?

What changes would I like to make and/or see made in my life?

An Action

Desired Result: Finding a Role-Model-For-a-Day

Concrete Action: Take out a piece of paper and write down five qualities that you would like to develop further in your life. This could be in any area of life: socially, physically, mentally, spiritually. Now, take your list and ask someone outside of yourself—a friend, colleague, partner—if they can name a few public figures with these qualities. (If no one is there to ask, close your eyes and imagine someone who fits the bill.) Then, pull up this person’s Wikipedia page and scan it, looking for key phrases about them as people and their actions. It might be something like, “…always treated everyone with respect” or “…wasn’t afraid to speak up for her beliefs” or “…set big goals and went for them”. Now, write this action down on a piece of paper and look for one opportunity in your day to practice this action. Remember, when we have something to look for, we almost always will find it. Find it.  Then, try the same exercise the next day with someone new.  It’s like test driving new quality actions.

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

4 thoughts on “Part 3 | Strengths and Combinations: Why It Matters What Actions We Take and Whom We Take Them With

  1. I love the framework you use for your posts – 5 ideas, 3 questions, action. It gives people context, inner reflection and an opportunity to ground. Transformation and
    change management. The analogy of the ants is pretty awesome – puts those little critters into an entirely different context 😦

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for connecting with my work. I love your phrase: transformation and change management. It’s the air that I breathe! Paying forward the joy and the energy that was so freely given to me. Grateful for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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