Tag Archives: success

The Strategic Approach to Saving Time and Effort

If you are familiar with the concept of focusing on your strengths, then perhaps you know why sometimes People, Teams or even Organizations fail.

Have learned through StrengthsFinders (not an endorsement - 😊) training and during multiple conversations with mentors, that it is best to focus on building up your strengths rather than focusing on improving upon your weaknesses. Many studies have demonstrated that trying to improve a weakness is far less constructive than spending time building up your strengths. Especially (imo) once you are over 25 and have a more solid assessment of your skills and abilities. And while there is great merit in emphasizing strength building activities you should still be cautious of using tools like Strengths-Finder, as it could result in a skewed view. A possible more accurate and objective assessment is by asking others, who know you very well, to fill out the questionnaire.

What many neglect to do in light of their deficient abilities in certain areas is to partner up with others whose strengths may complement their own. A colleague with a different skill set might be able to offer constructive advice or even assist to ensure you and others become more effective, collectively and independently. It is precisely this kind of situation that illustrates how important it is for leaders to diversify the skillsets on their Teams. Another issue is that wasting resources developing a skill beyond what is necessary when it isn’t something one is both good or passionate about is generally an unproductive use of our top commodity, Time! Individuals need to assess whether the time they invest to develop any skill is necessary and/or beneficial based on their top strengths and passion.

The strategy many well intentioned people employ is to get better at a lot of things at once — spreading the improvement in their abilities like one might spread peanut butter on toasted bread. And while this approach does help you improve, it can be because you are often concentrated on things you aren’t as efficient at where just a little effort goes a long way. This feedback loop of seeing progress is addicting (especially to dedicated people) so they spread themselves even thinner to get stronger in even more diverse areas. And while I admit this growth can be positive, I have seen it lead to stress and fatigue, having fallen victim to this strategy myself.

What if you instead could improve more swiftly and with expert resolve by focusing on just 1-3 strengths, mastering these abilities to become even stronger in those areas.

Unfortunately, what some of us often do is perform a root-cause analysis on their weaknesses, spending an inordinate amount of time self-reflecting. Thus descending into an introspective trap until finally discovering a valid excuse under which one can hide unnecessary guilt. The result usually is a waste of too much quality time, energy, and disappointing relationships at work and at home.

Now, turn that thinking around. None of us can deny that we have tasted success, more-or-less within our lifetimes. We have also witnessed its glory many times over from afar. So what if we instead spent time performing a root-cause analysis of what led to that success, others we admire and our own? This shift in focus, from weaknesses to strengths, has the capability of instilling confidence, inspiration and positivity into your well-being and those around you. Further, the most effective people perform an analysis after each successful venture, assuring they stay consistent and achieve their dreams.

So how can we do this? First, starting with common sense is often a good guide. Aim to make the most of your natural and/or developed talents, adding relevant skills to further these as necessary. Simultaneously, seek knowledge that will allow you to expand the boundaries of your current strengths. Doing this will not only help you to build up expertise but will also allow you to concentrate on matters that bring you joy.

Read on to learn more…

10 Articles That Could Change the Way You Think About Life, or So Its Been Said

Taken from here:

#1 – Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address

For teaching me to stop attributing value to unimportant things, and start trusting my instincts. Before reading Jobs’ speech, I was working a job I hated because it was really the only thing I ever tried. It was what I knew. Jobs says “You’ve got to find what you love.” His article helped me realize that I was wasting my life living someone else’s dream. If I settled for someone else’s dream, I’d grow old and die without ever seeking my own.

#2 – Violent Acres’ Most People Are Depressed For a Very Good Reason

For teaching me that being depressed had nothing to do with the serotonin in my brain — the reason I felt depressed was because my life sucked. I was making choices just to appease the opinions of people around me, when I should have been making choices to appease myself. This article helped me realize that medication was not the solution to my joyless lifestyle — the true remedy was to start making my own choices to live a more fulfilling life.

#3 – Steve Pavlina’s Don’t Die With Your Music Still In You

For teaching me that “to abandon a comfortable lifestyle that isn’t deeply fulfilling is to abandon nothing.” Steve’s article helped me understand I was defending a comfortable career without good reason. At the start of each workday, I was reluctant to get out of bed. At the end of each workday, the amount of satisfaction I received from the work I was doing was nil. Steve caused me to ask myself: Why should I stay loyal to such a meaningless job?

#4 – Brian Kim’s How to Find What You Love to Do

For emphasizing the importance of self-assessment. Brian made me take a good hard look at myself and figure out what it is that makes me happiest. What’s more, his article discusses how uncertainty and fear are the most common obstacles preventing you from doing what you love to do. His solution involves self-analysis: identify your skills and interests, then use your strengths to live your passion. In Brian’s words, “conquer indecision and ACT, and you will most definitely conquer all fear.”

#5 – Fred Gratzon’s Top 10 Signs You’re Made to be an Entrepreneur

For helping me understand that the reason I’m reluctant to get a job is because I’d rather be the boss, president, or sole proprietor of my own creation. Thanks to Fred’s article, I was able to see the entrepreneur in me: I’m always looking for a way for things to be simplified, made more efficient, or automated by a computer. There’s a reason I feel this way — and it’s for the same reason that I don’t want to have to answer to someone else.

#6 – Steve Pavlina’s 10 Reasons You Should Never Get a Job

For teaching me that working for other people is stupid. Self-employment using passive income is the best way to earn money without trading away life’s freedoms. In other words, Steve helped me understand it’s possible to be “Happily Jobless.”

#7 – Darren Rowse’s 18 Lessons I’ve Learnt About Blogging

For teaching me to use the power of exponential growth. Like any other long-term investment, creating a successful blog takes time. Along the way, you’re bound to have ups and downs, and people will undoubtedly tell you that you suck. Darren says that so long as you be yourself, work hard, and are willing to experiment, your efforts will be rewarded.

#8 – Caro Clarke’s Are You a Writer?

For helping me realize my dream of becoming a writer. Although many people have tried to tell me that I’m a writer at heart, I always disregarded their comments under the belief that it wasn’t true. After reading Caro’s article, I recognized the writer in me: I get my inspiration from the world around me, and write every day because I enjoy it. When I’m not writing, I’m often thinking about writing. The signs are clear — I am a writer.

#9 – Danielle Gibbings’ Need a Reboot?

For being the very first source of encouragement from a complete stranger. Danielle discovered my blog during its infancy, and was inspired by the movement I was trying to create. She wrote about LifeReboot on her own blog to help lead more readers to my site. She read my site often and left encouraging comments. She sent me my very first donation. Danielle’s supportive attitude helped me more than she’ll ever know. She helped me build confidence in my decision to pursue writing, and caused me to realize how I was finally on the right track.

#10 – My own 10 Reasons It Doesn’t Pay To Be “The Computer Guy”

Chances are, some of these articles won’t affect you the same way they affected me. I believe that’s to be expected, since we’re all different people.

Think about it. Life-altering advice exists online. Advice to help you get out of debt, leave a dead-end relationship, or whatever type of self-improvement you can possibly imagine. All you need to do is consciously seek it out.

You’ll know once you’ve discovered it. The advice will resonate with you, inspire you, and maybe even change your life.