StrengthsFinder™: Full permission to do lots of the fun stuff

One of my favorite aspects of the StrengthsFinder™ assessment
involves receiving full permission to do all the things that feel most natural, most easy, most fun for me.  If you haven’t yet taken the assessment to learn your top five natural strengths, I highly recommend it!

The Gallup folks who developed the StrengthsFinder™ assessment define a strength as “near perfect performance in an activity.”  While “near perfect performance” seems like a high standard, I have noticed with my own strengths over the years that I do, indeed have near perfect performance and it’s nearly effortless!  How cool is that?

I recently had this reinforced in a simple, yet powerful way  while getting a birthday card for my brother-in-law.  I sometimes find him hard to buy for, but this time I had an idea.  He lives near the beach in San Diego and just bought a second home in Maui.  He loves the beach and the ocean!  I wanted to find him a birthday card about his birthday being a great day at the beach.

One of my top five StregthsFinder™ strengths kicked into gear: Individualization, which involves loving noticing and responding to the specific uniqueness in each person.  I can’t always tell what excites my brother-in-law, but in this case I knew my birthday card idea hit the bulls-eye for him.  Except that there wasn’t a card in the greeting card store with that message and image!

Now what?  Well, I love making torn-paper cards (my own Individualization), but I wasn’t at all sure he would appreciate the hand-made card.  I felt excited about the idea, so I decide to proceed.  And I loved making the card and the finished product.  I mailed it and forgot about it.

Until a few weeks after his birthday, when my sister told me that my brother-in-law loved his card so much that he wanted to frame it!  That brought tears to my eyes.  I love that me being me, doing what I love to do naturally and easily had impacted him so strongly . . .

What would each of our lives be like if we focused every day on doing more and more of what strengthens us, what we are naturally gifted at, what we love to do?

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