Today is Part Four of a five-week series on why it is so good to be you. Click here for background.
Returners... in week one we reflected on whether or not we thought our five designated themes accurately described our strengths. Week two we considered how relationships and important life events events are impacted by our strengths. Last week - week three - we delved into Csikszentmihalyi's concept of "flow" and evaluated whether our work place (home, place of business, or volunteer work) showcased our strengths or left us feeling unfulfilled.
Today is week number four. The focus... personal goals. How, specifically, can you channel your five themes to facilitate the completion of a goal... or dare I say... resolution?
If we look back over our lives, each of us has a handful of accomplishments for which we are proud. For me it might be deciding I was going to sail on Semester at Sea and then actually doing it three years later. It might be having the discipline not to marry a person clearly not right for me; completing my Ph.D. in three years, or making the commitment to post daily on Highlowaha and then following through, despite the rigor.
Our innate strengths, as outlined in Rath's book, StrengthsQuest 2.0, are actually probably largely responsible for our successes. It seems to me, achieving a goal or making-good on a resolution is nothing more than successfully deploying your strengths to make something happen - something you've set your sights on.
Why, then, have I still not mastered the crock pot - a deal I made with StingRay eight months ago? And, why hasn't Sally Sunshine lost the weight she wanted to and Mary Jane saved the money she hoped to, and Aunt Annie written the book she planned to? If we have strengths then why don't we achieve our goals?
The answer, I think - though I am no expert - is that most of us do not know what our strengths are, NEVER MIND how to channel them toward specific outcomes. We'll use me as an example and then each of you will take a crack at it.
My strengths are (the same as last week and the week before that): Strategic, Focus, Input, Ideation, and Achiever. I was able to complete my doctoral work in three years because I successfully deployed my themes of strategic, focus, and achiever. I had a plan; I was focused and stuck with it; and the sense of achievement I felt by sticking with my plan provided tremendous satisfaction.
If one of my themes was something like Significance, I might have spent a lot of time thinking about the impact my work could have on the profession and maybe that would have been my motivation to complete my degree in three years. The point is... everyone has strengths and, once we know what they are, each person can literally employ her strengths to help her achieve her life's goals.
So let's try it. Tell us about a goal you have and then tell us how you intend to use a combination of your five themes to help you achieve that goal.
And, do it quick... before StingRay strikes again!
Signing off until tomorrow...