Part 1 | Strengths and Pure Potential

strengths-photo-7November 23, 2016

Think of the sand in an hourglass.

Consider, for a moment, the fact that there is a precise amount inside and, grain-by-grain, as it falls through the narrow opening, it measures time.  If there was any more or less sand inside it would change the result from an hour to something else—if we added sand perhaps we would get an “hour-and-five-minutes glass”, which just doesn’t have the same ring to it.  The point is that there is an exact amount of sand inside each hourglass.  Its volume is absolutely intentional.

Now, imagine smashing the glass open and pouring all of the sand out onto a table.

What is it now?  It’s just sand.  Plain old sand and nothing more.

We cannot point at it and say, for example, “That is an hour’s worth of sand.”  No.  Because as perfect and exact as it was inside the hourglass, when the sand is outside of it, it’s just a pile.

And, that is like us.  We can have all of this potential but it isn’t until we are in the right setting that it is activated and transmuted into something truly incredible and useful.

To think, something as simple as moving sand from a tabletop and putting it in a glass funnel can transform it from dirt into a device that measures the passing of time—which itself it mysterious, invisible, and illusive.

In that way, we can see that dramatic and broad-sweeping transformation does not always need to be arduous work.  It can be as simple as being in the right environment and circumstances.  It may mean connecting ourselves with a single other element in our life, which pairs our unique gifts with another’s in a way that transforms our pure potential into pure magic.

When we are focusing on our strengths and developing a mindset that allows us to live in the solution as opposed to the problem, we are creating a path toward true personal greatness and personal freedom.  With this perspective we are more likely to seek and find our areas of true potential and craft ways of developing them into life-giving experiences from which we change, evolve, and grow.

In what areas of my life am I feeling like a pile of sand in need of an hourglass?

Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.


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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