Blog Posts

March 25, 2019

Focus on Your Strengths (part 2)

Last week's post raised the idea of focusing on your strengths. Is this an unsettling idea? It may be. As a young child in school, we were taught a number of subjects and required to demonstrate proficiency in all to pass and achieve good grades. Our parents and teachers told us to spend extra time working on those areas in which we were not strong.
There was tremendous value in that - it taught us persistence, dedication and patience.

However, in our adult lives today, to get us from good to great, playing to our strengths will help us to be more successful, helpful to others - including our colleagues, confident, rewarded and motivated. It's something to consider.

A few questions to ask yourself when considering your strengths (paraphrased from Marcus Buckingham's Put Your Strengths to Work):

-What are my positive qualities? What do others say positively about me?

-What do I do that when completed, I look forward to doing again?

-What do I want to know more about so I can become more proficient?

-What activities make me feel energized, fulfilled, accomplished and strong?

Quoting (Psychologist/Author) Cheryl Saban, "When you take the time to engage in activities that absorb your full attention, you'll experience a sense of well-being and contentment. Use your natural gifts and talents. Find ways to enhance your quality of life with them."

Moving you forward, WLS

March 18, 2019

Focus on your Strengths (part 1)

Where do you focus your time and energy? Try spending the majority of your time building upon your strengths and talents and expanding your current knowledge. What are your natural abilities? Do you spend adequate time and focus on these?

This does not mean that you must avoid what you do not like, as life is full of mandatory tasks that we do not enjoy! It also does not say that you must stick to a few activities and never expand your knowledge elsewhere. In a work environment, that is often required and expected.

It's saying that if you focus on the things that fuel you up instead of depleting you and your energy resources, you will feel renewed as opposed to constantly drained. Consider what gives you the greatest pleasure, sense of fulfillment and excitement.

A quote from Andy Stanley says that, " if you really want to make a lasting impact, then you need to eliminate what you do well for the sake of what you potentially do best." My best guess of what he is trying to say is that to maximize your potential, spend the majority of your time focusing on your strengths/talents/abilities.

We spend a disproportionate amount of time trying to overcome our weaknesses and not enough time growing our strengths. For a good read and hands on exercises that focus on identifying and playing to your strengths, I suggest Marcus Buckingham's Put Your Strengths to Work.

As a broad overview, Buckingham looks at identifying your own strengths and weaknesses and discusses how to put your strengths into practice while navigating away from the activities that weaken you. He discusses how this can be applied in your professional life at work.

In next week's blog post, we'll continue the topic of focusing on your strengths. How do you feel about this? Does it feel wrong to navigate towards the things we enjoy and are good at, or do you feel like it makes perfect sense to do so?

Until next week.

Moving you forward, WLS

March 4, 2019

Potential - You Have It!

Living the life you desire and achieving your dreams doesn't just have to make it happen! Ask yourself - "Am I truly making the most of each and every day?"

Live your life with intent and purpose and be excited and hopeful about what is upcoming in your future. You and only you are responsible for taking action and creating the future you want for yourself. Your future is what YOU make of it. The ability to reach your full potential is in your hands and is your responsibility, no one elses. You don't need to wait for anyone to tell you that it's "go time" to take full control and ownership of your life.

Don't focus on what you lack, instead focus on what you have. Quoting Albert Einstein, "Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life thinking that it is stupid." What are your abilities, unique skills, interests/passions and talents? Be conscious of what you're focusing your energy on. If you are fixated on the negative and on what you do not have or what you believe you are incapable of doing, you will only attract more disappointments into your life. You will create roadblocks for yourself that will hinder forward movement.

Realize your passions - Build on your strengths - Attract what is positive - Be proud and happy with who you are.

You are a unique and talented individual. Grow your potential!!

Moving you forward, WLS

December 31, 2018

A Commitment to Growth

Living the life you desire and achieving your dreams doesn't just happen. You have to make it happen!

As we wrap up the month of December, and head into 2019, ask yourself - "Am I truly making the most of each and every day?"

Mary Kay Ash, the creator of the incredibly successful company Mary Kay has said, "the world is full of people who are quick to dream but slow to act. Often because they have failed to break big goals into manageable ones, but more often it is a fear of failure. You can only overcome such fear if you are willing to get up and get started. Yes you are going to make mistakes, but we fail forward to success....remember, obstacles polish us up or wear us down" (Mary Kay Ash biography page 99).

I love that quote and the realization that life doesn't come easily and that we often must fail forward to success.

Make your own growth plan intentional and strategic. Commit yourself to not accepting the status quo or mediocrity, but force yourself to learn, change and grow.....and expect (and tackle full-on!) the obstacles that will present themselves.

Put yourself in an environment that encourages (not hinders) growth. I've read somewhere that there are certain types of fish whose growth patterns reflect the environment which they're in. Put them in an environment that encourages growth and they will expand and reach their full potential. On the contrary, a stifling environment will stunt them.

"Be willing to live life to your fullest potential, and believe in fact that you have plenty of it!" ~ Cheryl Saban (Psychologist and Author)

Wishing you and yours happiness, health, and a commitment to positive growth in 2019.

Moving you forward, WLS

November 26, 2018

Take a Leap

You may be able to personally relate to this or in the least, know of people who are undergoing changes (or major overhauls!) in their lives that lead them to new and exciting places.

Oftentimes, that leap of faith is a difficult one to take. Many of us - most likely all of us at one time or another - find ourselves in a rut, going through the motions of life not feeling much in terms of passion and excitement. Instead we may feel that we are circling in monotonous boredom. This boredom can be an excellent red flag, alerting you to the fact that change is needed. That doesn't mean we have to make drastic changes to our job, relationship etc. but it may mean that we need to set new challenges or goals to achieve.  

Change is scary stuff. It's one thing to be able to identify that you need to shake things up (and kudos to you for recognizing that change is required) but actually doing it takes much courage, effort and oftentimes, a leap of faith.

So take a few minutes to think of the big picture. Ideally, what do you see yourself achieving? Where do you want to be?? Take a moment to think about what you love to do, where your talents lie, and at what you're willing spend time growing and improving. Then write it down, draw of picture, cut out photos and quotes, and pin them up. Do whatever it takes to inspire you and to create that clear vision. Don't bite off more than you can chew...take one small step at a time. As a coach, I work with clients to achieve their desired goals. Once that vision is created and goals are formed, it is important to remain accountable to yourself. The path to reaching your goals is often a rocky one. You have to be prepared to stay the course through the ups and downs.

Remember, that brave first step is often the hardest but to quote Walt Disney, "If you can dream it, you can do it."

Moving you forward, WLS

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