The Strength Created by Growing into Your… Strengths?
“You are SOOOOOO good at this, why don’t you do it more often?”
Do people ever say that to you?
That needs to make you stop and ponder.
If you are so good at something and you don’t do it often… why?
Do you know the answer to that question?
When someone comments and says how good you are at something and asks why you do not do that thing more often, what might you say?
People might respond and say something like, “Oh, it was nothing.”
People might respond and say something like, “I never have time for that.”
People might respond and say something like, “But, that really wasn’t me.”
People might respond and say something like, “I need to pay the bills.”
Whitney Johnson wrote in the Harvard Business Review, “When we’re inherently good at something, we tend to downplay it. ‘Oh, it was nothing,’ we say — and maybe it was nothing to us. But it meant something to another person, which is why they’re thanking you. Notice these moments: They can point to strengths that you underrate in yourself but are valuable to others.”
Maybe we think that our strength is not that impressive because it feels as though it is natural for us and we are not truly exerting much effort to practice that strength. But, in the eyes of others, that might be extremely impressive.
As the saying goes, “Find what you can do better than anyone else, and do that.”
On Sunday I wrote a piece about the danger of speaking in absolutes.
I generally dislike when people say, “This always works.”
Does it really? Every single time, no matter what, it is going to work?
Wow. Then I am amazed and I have never seen anything like that and I need you to teach me. Because, in my experience and the experience of those around me, something that works every single time, no matter what, does not exist.
In the same way, I generally dislike when people say, “I could never do this on a regular basis.”
You really don’t think that something you are inherently good at, and amazingly talented and gifted at is something that God intended for you to do regularly?
That is absolutely crazy to me. Our life’s purpose revolves around what we do better than anyone else.
People say, “Do what you love and the money will come.”
I don’t think that is enough though. Just because you love something and you do it does not mean that you will get paid for it….
You must do what you love AND be good at doing what you love.
If I loved to sing and followed that advice, I’d be the person laughed off the stage at American Idol. Singing is not my core strength.
There is strength created by growing into your strengths. There ALWAYS is.
Now, I’m not saying to speak in absolutes, I am saying to ACT in absolutes.
There is a huge difference for me. Studies have shown that people who are already good at something improve much more and much faster than people who are not good at something.
So why then, do people spend so much time working on their weaknesses?
Henry Ford was questioned in court about many things related to history and philosophy and he eventually replied, “If I should really WANT to answer the foolish question you have just asked, or any of the other questions you have been asking me, let me remind you that I have a row of electric push-buttons on my desk, and by pushing the right button, I can summon to my aid men who can answer ANY question I desire concerning the business to which I am devoting most of my efforts. Now, will you kindly tell me, WHY I should clutter up my mind with general knowledge, for the purpose of being able to answer questions, when I have men around me who can supply any knowledge I require?”
If you have a weakness, I guarantee you that there are at least 1,000 people in this world who are experts at that. Why spend time trying to be like them when you can go all in on your own strength?
Growing into your strengths and growing your strengths creates more strength.
But, there is one more part of it. If you are really really good at something but feel empty while doing it… you should not do it. At least you should not do that thing you are really good at in that way.
“Your strengths must not only reward others, but your strengths must also reward yourself.”
Spend time on your strengths. Always practice your strengths. Do what rewards others while at the same time you are rewarding yourself. Then, only then, can I say that you should act in absolutes and go all in on your strength.
It is so important to understand yourself. With over 7 billion people in the world, we are all good at different things, great at different things, and the best at different things. Why spend time on things that we do not have the potential to be great at? Why spend time on things that are not rewarding to us in the long run?
I have never been a fan of working the same job for 40 years. Where is the growth? Who are you rewarding or benefitting by doing that? If your job and role and responsibilities change and the company also grows, then that is one thing. But, if it is the same over time, who does that benefit?
You are likely not using your strengths and you are likely not rewarding others, or yourself.
I don’t think that people should say, “I’ll never be able to do this.”
I think that people should say, “I will be able to do this, right now I don’t know how, but each and every day, I am finding a way to make it possible with God.”
We can all do things better than anyone else, we should ALWAYS be doing those things.
What is your greatest strength?
What makes you irreplaceable?
What makes you you?
“The key to success is playing the hand you were dealt as though it were the hand you wanted” — Unknown