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Focus on your strengths

Focus on your strengths

Today I spent most of the day in the basement painting. Well, not most of the day, some of the day. This morning I drove my brother to the airport at 5:00 a.m., then I came home and took a nap. After my nap I helped my youngest daughter clean her room, then I painted. Tomorrow I will clean less and paint more.

Painting feels natural to me. I love to mix colors and create with my hands. Math and numbers never felt natural. Why would anyone want to mix up numbers. Numbers are important. They help you keep a budget, or build a bridge. I needed numbers when I built the fence in Boulder Creek, California. I added up the cost of the materials and I needed to know how many post’s I needed for the length of the fence. I used a ruler to measure how deep the holes were for the posts.

But, I don’t want to spend a lot of time thinking about numbers. Numbers are practical. They are not fun. And I only need the basics, nothing fancy. I don’t want to build a bridge.

We all have choices in our life. We can eat an egg for breakfast or we can eat cereal. We can go for a walk or sit all day. We can choose how we spend our time.

Today I had a choice, I could spend hours studying and trying to learn Calculus, or I could paint.

One area is my weakness, one area is my strength.

I can improve my strengths or improve my weakness.

Tom Rath, in his book, StrengthsFinder 2.0 , said, “The aim of almost any learning program is to help us become who we are not.”

From the cradle to the cubicle, we devote more time to our shortcomings than to our strengths.
Tom Rath — Strengths Finder

Rath suggests that we focus on improving what we our strong in, rather than trying to overcome a shortcoming.

Do you value your strength? I never have. It seemed easy, therefore it must have not value. Value comes from struggle, from overcoming a weakness. Rath uses the example of the true story of Rudy Ruettiger, from the movie, Rudy to illustrate how society values the underdog who overcomes. Rudy Ruettiger was not a successful football player. He only played for a few minutes in the last game of the season.

You cannot be anything you want to be – but you can be a whole lot more of who you already are.
― Tom Rath

Do you focus on your strengths or your weaknesses?

Maybe a shortcoming is a nicer way to say a weakness. An area we are not strong in, as opposed to being weak.

Either way, a weakness is not our strong point.

What would happen if we focused on improving our strengths? What if we stopped whining about what we are not strong in?

I could be a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon if I studied really hard, got tutors to help me with math, and I wanted to do it. But, I don’t want to. And, I hate math. Brains are slimy, and I don’t like accuracy, something rather essential to brain surgery.

I use to feel bad about myself because I wasn’t great at math. Now I am thankful for who I am. It is okay to be me. And it is okay to be you. You are not your brother or your sister. They ran track and you did drama. They have brown hair and you are blond. They were good at talking in front of people, and you liked to be back stage.  You are special just as you are. Your strengths have value. You don’t have to be like anyone else. Become a better you. Focus on your strengths. [tweet tweet]

And, as Bob, from Veggie Tales would say.

God made you special and He loves you very much.
Bob The Tomato – Veggie Tales

Do you know what your strengths are?

Please tell me in the comments.

I recommend  StrengthsFinder 2.0. Find out what your strengths are. But, really you probably already know. The book comes with a code to do the Strengths Finder test on-line. It will give you a personalized Strengths Discovery and Action-Planning Guide, A top 5 theme report, and 50 Ideas for Action.

p.s. I am an affiliate for the book link. The pennies Amazon pays me helps buy kitty litter. I have seven litter boxes and four cats.




About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

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  • Can I tell you after I have taken the Strength Finder Test. I do know one is determination.

  • Jaana

    You wrote about strengths, I wrote about what we are made for–our passions. That books sounds really interesting. I might have to check it out!

  • Janelle

    Pamela, I love this. I’m going to think more about my strengths. And about my kids’ strengths.

    • Janelle, it was so interesting to take the Strength Finder test. It helped me see how God wired my brain.
      My strengths in the book were
      1. Strategic
      2. Futuristic
      3. Intellection
      4. Learner
      5. Ideation
      After I took the on-line test, I understood how I thought and looked at the world better.
      I am curious to see what you think your strengths are.

  • Stacey Shubitz

    I agree with Rath. Time is much better spent when we focus on what we have some capabilities with rather than trying to get better at something we’re just not good at (like calculus).

    • Me too Stacey. I had never thought about how society focuses on improving our weaknesses until I read this book.

  • Leigh Anne Eck

    You cannot be anything you want to be – but you can be a whole lot more of who you already are. That…is…profound. Not sure how I feel about this, so this will keep me thinking for awhile.

    • Me too Leigh Anne,
      I always thought I could do anything, but I know there are some areas that I really struggle with, like calculus. The book “Strength Finder 2.0 really changed my view on how I think about what I am “good at.”