Good afternoon from Reno!
Life never seems to be put on hold here, and that is evident from the ever growing pile of papers, books, school materials, various technology, and Post-Its around my office.
August has always been an interesting month for me because it signals the “return to school” and the close of summer, but this August seems to be different…
The summer continues to be full of learning experiences, least of which is directly related to learning about myself as a person. At work, we completed the Strengths Finder exercise and it was frightening how dead-on accurate it was! I am gearing up for a presentation to the division at staff training tomorrow (kind of a big deal for me since it will be in front of a lot of people), and it was fun going through the Strengths Finder assessment tool and utilizing my strengths to help me organize my thoughts. I wish I had known about these attributes when I graduated college!
- Learner – I wholeheartedly agree that I am obsessed with the entire learning process (no matter what the subject matter) as I was raised on the belief that the day you stop learning is the day you die. There is too much going on in this world to be stuck in a rut of ignorance, and it is our responsibility as a contributor to society to go out, learn, and improve on our way of life.
- Individualization – Someone with this strength is able to identify unique characteristics of the people around them and draw out the best within that individual. The thing that jumped out at me about this trait was the ability to analyze data differently from others, because of different perceptions/assumption, and an acute awareness of others’ likes and dislikes. It rang a bell although I would not have identified this on my own.
- Maximizer – Perhaps the strength that I identified with the most, maximizers are people who set their own bar at excellent and don’t look back. It is very thrilling to turn a few key strengths into the mastery that you define as the core of your life. In a few short years, I’ve transitioned from being a triathlon noob to someone who is relatively decent at the sport(s). In the professional world, I’ve gone from a green college grad to someone confident in my business skills and ability to paint pictures for people. However, I do wonder what I am missing out on since I feel that I spend so much time maximizing my current strengths instead of finding new ones…
- Achiever – For those of you who know me, you will definitely agree that I must always be accomplishing “something,” and the mere idea of sitting still and enjoying life can make me nauseous. It’s true that I don’t have an issue challenging myself in life, but then again, do I really take time to celebrate the little things? Perhaps not. I found it interesting that the strengths book describes achievers as people who get more excited about what lies ahead than on what has been completed. Ding ding ding! Not more than four days after my first marathon had I decided that I will qualify for Boston one day (2013 ideally). This is not unusual for me, although I am slowly breaking out of the “checklist mindset” and at least acknowledging the reason for my insane desire to achieve. It certainly describes my obsession with triathlon :-)
- Futuristic – This trait is prominent in people who latch onto dreams of the future, and craft their lives around the hope that it brings. The ability to think long term gives me a clear vision, and helps me carve out specific steps to make it reality. I tend to leverage that trait with logical goal setting to incorporate it into my life. For example, not a single goal I set at the beginning of the year (yes, I actually use realistic New Year’s resolutions) will be unfulfilled by the end of September. I tend to set goals that stretch and force me to work, but ones that are still very attainable.
Personally, it was fascinating reading about my personality from this book, and has certainly provided me a wonderful resource.
What surprises you about your personality?