Thursday, November 11, 2010

Playing to Your Strengths

For my birthday I wanted to go Christmas shopping, and so C conceded. Aside from one or two gifts, I have purchased, wrapped, and tagged nearly every gift I will give out for Christmas, including work gifts. I also purchased most of what I will need for Thanksgiving. Alas, it has been a delightful experience.

There is a book that I have mentioned before that helps one identify their strengths. I don't readily subscribe to the basis of the book, which apparently states that one should do only those things that they are good at. So much for progression. Still, there is definite value in looking back over your life and identifying those things that have brought you success and happiness. It is these particular things that you typically succeed with that are considered your strengths. I have identified several of mine.

1. I love to cook, and I am good at it. I can look at a group of foods and quickly distinguish which flavors and textures will best work together, regardless of instruction. The kitchen is a blank canvas for me, and freestyle cooking brings me immense joy. I just have to remember to write down the creations that are successful. I was never a Top Ramen girl in college. Rather I would buy a yam, take advantage of crab legs on sale, purchase a calamari steak now and then... NOT normal, but forever creating something new and tasty.

2. I have the capacity to hold an amazing amount of information in my head and put it into action. This makes it very easy for me to do complex research projects, plan and organize large and complex events, and manage large and complex projects. I thrive on complexity and am able to scale my thinking to adapt to any scope. The things I plan may not always include a play-by-play manual, however, I have yet to have one of these events fail miserably.

3. I have the ability to keep moving under crisis circumstances and not freeze up. My default behavior in crisis situations is to think clearly and navigate the problem. Only when things are under control do I experience any sort of melt down. Sometimes this may be several hours, days, or weeks after the crisis event, when it is finally safe to step out of operational mode.

4. I am an excellent manager and motivator of people. I enjoy working with others and getting their thoughts and ideas. I am very good at identifying next steps with those ideas, and creating processes in order to help deliver that objective or maintain it.

5. I am creative and imaginative. I love my creative side, and am often very unhappy when it is stifled.

6. I love to teach and am very good at teaching. I am able to teach difficult concepts in such a way that others "get" it. I have been teaching (formally) for over 18 years and I am successful 99% of the time.

7. I I love to write and am reasonably good at it. I started writing at age 9 and it has always brought me peace and clarity. When I remove writing from my life my thoughts feel like a tangled piece of yarn in my head and I feel all of this creativity bottling up inside of me.

8. I learn new things incredibly quickly. Learning is like breathing for me. I can't imaging being in a world where I could never read or learn something new again. That would be my personal hell.

I am sure there are some more, but it is late, and my head is finally clear enough to settle down next to my C and fall asleep.


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