Other people don’t kill our dreams – We do! … a continuing discussion about Siimon Reynolds’ book “Why People Fail” with Kevin Lovewell
Chapter 16: Not Focusing on Strengths
The premise of the Buckingham book is that it is possible to work on weaknesses all our lives, but that will only ever deliver strong weaknesses! A review of the drudgery that school life presented average students would identify many wasted hours. Were you were good at English and bad at Math – and what then did remedial hours and tutoring money get allocated to. Probably not on making you even better at English! This is how it works from primary school right up to university and then into corporate life. Most effort is squandered trying to improve a so called weakness.
The alternative is focusing on the things where you have talent, things that give you pleasure, outcomes that you find easier and more interesting and of course more fun. A strength focused life has many pleasures and benefits. The guidance here is interesting because it even supports research we have been involved in. The advice is “Specialise” as this is where our “information based economy” is heading. Find your strengths and specialise in that area.
There is a strengths evaluator provided in the book. It is too large to incorporate here. However the first question asks “What three things at work do you find easy and interesting?” The last question is “How much time do you spend on your strengths each working day?”
As Siimon says in the conclusion, “What a journey” We have seen that failure does not just happen, it will (almost always) have reasons behind it. These reasons appeared some way prior to the “fail” incident and will have been alerting you to the impending outcome in various ways. As a consequence of sharing this journey with the author, we now have sixteen simple actions that will help you avoid or reduce the impact of long term failure. I might even suggest feelings of certainty that long term success is so much more likely as a consequence of using this knowledge. Of course no success is guaranteed, nor is success achieved “by-right.” As certain as I am that failure is not fatal, nor success final, the courage to continue is the thing that counts in this life.
You possess in your armoury all the tools you need. Your strengths can be sharpened. All I can conclude with however is to remind the reader that every accomplishment starts with the decision to have a go!
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