Part 1 | Five Reasons Why You Should Care About Developing Your Strengths


July 26, 2016

Reason #1: It Starts At Home

Bringing out the best in another person means bringing out the best in our selves.

Take, for example, the oxygen mask on an airplane.  It has more in common with our path of personal development than first meets the eye.

That is, if we’ve been even once on an airplane, we’ve heard the phrase, “Secure your own mask before assisting others.”

And, metaphorically speaking, as it relates to our own growth and vision, we cannot do much good for the development of others until we are fully engaged in our own development.

Our strengths give us a roadmap to where our energy, efforts, and focus are best served.  Research has established over and again that we grow most in our areas of strength.  So, by beginning there, we are likely to save ourselves from the frustrations of a tortoise-paced growth curve that comes with focusing on our weaknesses.

It’s true, as a culture, we’ve been indoctrinated into the world of “finding what’s wrong and then fixing it”, but does that work?

Developing a strengths mindset means asking ourselves, “What happens when we focus on what’s right with people?”  And, how can we grow in that perspective unless we are applying it “at home” in our own lives.  This means learning and practicing this view in all that we do—including, when we look in the mirror—and finding what is right.

Like always, once we’ve identified a thing, we can take action around it.  And, focusing on what is “broken” is like trying to see something that isn’t yet there.

Doesn’t it seem easier to find and develop what is already there, what is naturally occurring, and what speaks for itself?

Action: Name it.  Set the timer on your phone and take 5 minutes to write down a list of 10+ action words that describe what you do best.  It might look something like this: cooking, drawing, public speaking, being a friend, researching, skiing, organizing, parenting, driving, creating solutions, making lists, etc.  Next, take your list and circle the words on it that describe things that you love doing.  These will be actions that come naturally to you and that make you feel alive.  These words point to your strengths.  Choose one and ask yourself, “What basic skills are involved in this action?”  Then, ask yourself, “What is one action that I could take to develop this skill, starting NOW?”

 Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.

Zach Bio copy

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 Gallup Certified Strengths Coach.

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