Focus on Your Strengths to Maximize Productivity
Hi. Suraj here. Here’s a thought on your personal development. I’ve said before that it’s really important for you to understand what your strengths are and to work within those areas of strength, not to focus on those areas that you’re not as strong or even weak in. The idea being that when you focus at what you’re really, really good at, you’ll bring the maximum amount of value to your life, to your relationships and to your business. When we’re asked, “What are you really good at? What are you strong at?” We maybe have a stock answer of one or two things but have we really thought about what our strengths are?
One thing I might recommend to you. This is a book called Strengths Finder and it’s version 2. There’s an organization, Gallup, you’re familiar with them. They have a strengths test so if you Google Gallup, strengths finder or strengths test, you’ll come across their website. You can sit down and invest a little bit of time. Their basic test is very inexpensive, takes maybe 20 minutes to do. But after you finish it they’ll give you a list of what are probably six of your top strength areas and some advice on what to do to maximize those strengths. What I found is I was fairly comfortable with the things that I was very good at but I couldn’t always articulate it clearly.
When we think about that, if we know these five or six areas that we’re really, really good at, whenever we decide to do something or to pursue something in our business or our life we should ask ourselves the question, “How many of my strengths are being used in this activity or in this pursuit?” If I’m using all six of my strengths in that area, likely I’m really crazy about it. I think this is wonderful. I love doing that. I love being involved in that. In fact, what I’ve usually found if it’s four, five or six of my top strengths, it’s something that I enjoy doing. If it’s less than my top four strengths, then the problem is it’s not so much fun to me. I’m not quite so good at it and it’s probably not an area that I want to spend time in.
I think it’s worth the investment. This isn’t the only way you can do it. There’s other tests that are out there. One really great way to do it that’s free is ask people who know you, business acquaintances, family, friends and so forth and ask them to give you a list of two or three of what they believe your greatest strengths are. When they do that, you can accumulate all of that information and summarize it and break it down. When you can clearly state what those four, five, six best strengths, top strengths, are in your life, then every time you’ve got an opportunity to do something, step back for just a split second in the back of your mind and go, “Does this satisfy the bulk of my strengths and if so, I’m going to go after it. I’m going to do it.”
If not, learn the word, no. Don’t do it. Don’t go there. It’ll be frustrating. You won’t enjoy it. It’s not going to be any fun for you. It’s not going to be productive. It’s not going to bring value to anyone. Think about that. It’s well worth taking that little bit of time. It helps keep the fire going, helps keep you motivated and excited because you’re doing the stuff that you love.