Discover Your Strengths And Unlock Your Potential
We all want to know what our strengths are; what skills we possess that makes us unique. For some people it is obvious, but for most it is not, especially if that strength falls into a skill that is not tested by our educational system.
Our educational system primarily tests memory elasticity and capacity; how much information you can manage and recall. It is highly likely that if your strength does not fall in this domain nor the physical domain, you could live your entire life without finding out.
It is important to discover what your strengths are so you can fully take advantage of them. The amount of value you get from the world depends largely on the amount of value you bring to the world, so take full advantage of your talents.
"Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value"- Albert Einstein.
We are usually told to work on our weaknesses, and while this is a good idea, it becomes easier to lose track of our strengths. Your strengths will naturally stand out because it is a skill you are much better at. As you work on your weaknesses, your strengths become less pronounced. This happens when we are still very young, so as we get older, our strengths become buried under the numerous skills we acquire.
Source: Alexander Garden
In order to utilize our potential strengths, we need to first find out what they are. This is crucial because just one strength can translate into multiple skills, and we have multiple strengths. Just think of the amount of untapped potential within you!
You will be naturally interested in activities that you have a knack for, and I mean genuinely interested and not simply interested because peers thinks it's “cool”. An activity comprises of multiple layers, and each layer may require different skill sets. What layer of an activity do you like and why do you like it?
To make the most of your strengths, it needs to have the capability to be used in multiple layers of an activity. For example; imagine a basketball player with a very tactical mind; he can accurately predict the flow of the game, but he is stuck at the power forward position because of his size and poor dribbling skills. If he were at the point guard spot, he could take greater advantage of this strength to help his team.
If you dissect your interests and activities, you will find your strength is the common denominator.
This is basically what other people notice about you that you cannot see in yourself. As I mentioned, it is difficult to discover a strength especially if it is not scored against others in some way.
It is difficult to spot your strengths because to you it seems normal, and you believe other people are also at that level. You believe that something that comes naturally to you also comes naturally to others.
When you are genuinely complemented, it is because others see something exceptional in you that they do not have in themselves. The things you get complimented on might not necessarily be something you are good at, but they are worth looking into.
This is one is crucially important. The rate at which you can improve in a certain skill is even more valuable than how good you currently are. This is usually underrated because many people believe that their strengths will likely lie in skills that they are already good at.
"Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies." -Mother Teresa
Imagine you have two skills A and B. Skill A is at a 10/100, while skill B is a 50/100. Your rate of improvement for skill B is 0.01 for every 10 hours you invest, and since the skill itself is fairly high, you focus on it and ignore skill A. However this way, you never discovered that your improvement rate for skill A was 0.01 for every 2 hours you invested.
Some people never find what they excel at simply because they never looked in the right direction. On top of this, our educational system suggests to you to look in a very narrow direction, developing skills you may not have a knack for.
When you become mature enough to start thinking critically, you will likely still continue to focus on the skills in this narrow path simply because it is more familiar.
There is a genetic aspect to strengths. Today you can even use a person’s genes to test for athletic talent (Against Genetic Tests for Athletic Talent: The Primacy of the Phenotype, Loland 2015).
Does this mean that they are born gifted? Not necessarily. It means that there exists certain individuals who are born with higher than average proclivity towards a skill, and also possess a high improvement rate for that skill. For example, someone had a skill that is 50/100, and also possess an improvement rate of 0.01 for every 2 hours invested.
To discover if you have any strengths passed on to you via genetics, simply look at your family. They may apply these strengths in a variety of different ways, but if there are any commonalities, those strengths are surely within you too!
Comment how you discovered your strengths or what you are currently doing to discover them. Comment in the forum so future visitors can benefit from your experience.