Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Email can wait

Triathletes using their "strength"
What are you interested in?  What activity, when engaged, causes you to lose track of time?  Do you experience success in that interest?  Call it an interest, a spark, a strength, a passion, or my personal favorite, "your sweet spot" - whatever you call it - that activity makes you come alive and brings meaning to your life.  Without engagement in that spark/strength/passion, you may feel drained or even lost.  

The past year I have spent a good number of hours researching and reading about strengths.   Specifically, how to discover your strengths and how to put them to work for you.  I am convinced, more then ever, that spending time in your areas of strengths will give you more personal growth than you ever imagined and lead to a more fulfilling career and life. 

Two strength stories.  The first one is a story of what happens when strengths aren't identified:
The Search Institute studied the effect of teachers who recognize and share their area of interest with their students (be it music, sports, or a hobby), compared to teachers who don't exhibit an interest in any area.  Search Institute found that teachers who don't show an interest in anything actually hurt the academic performance of their students.  Repeat, teachers who don't show an interest in sports, music, art, or anything else, HURT the academic performance of students in their classroom.  I'll let you draw your own conclusions of why that happens. 
The second story is one from our own backyard. It is a powerful example of what happens when you discover and use your strengths.  It's the story of Andrew Gerdts - a cross country runner for Le Sueur-Henderson High School who transformed his life when he discovered his gift.
To see what I'm talking about, check out the KARE 11 video of Andrew by clicking here. (It is about a 6 minute video)

Rick Warren in the Purpose Driven life explains,
"Like a proud parent, God especially enjoys watching you use the talents and abilities he has given you.  God intentionally gifted us differently for his enjoyment... all these abilities bring a smile to God's face.  You don't bring glory or pleasure to God by hiding your abilities or by trying to be somebody else.  You only bring enjoyment by being you.  Anytime you reject any part of yourself, you are rejecting God's wisdom in creating you."

Not only will using your strength bring more fulfillment in your life, but it also brings a smile to God's face.  I'd say those are good reasons to spend more time on your strengths.  Email can wait.

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