Friday, January 11, 2008

Strength

One of the joys of being between jobs is the flexibility inherent in the situation. If I wake up in the morning and need to spend some time on forgiveness work, I can. If a book falls off a shelf asking to be read, I can follow that urge. If nature is calling me out into its luscious depths, I can pack up and go for a walk. I am spending a lot of time listening and following the guidance I receive. Ultimately, my hope is that it will lead me to an income source, so a lot of my focus is on my life's purpose and seeing what the next step on that path looks like.

Earlier this week, the daily "big idea" email I get from thinkArete.com was about Dr. Mark Seligman's Authentic Happiness. The short idea is that if you figure out what your strengths are and use them, you will find happiness. I was, of course, intrigued and checked out the Authentic Happiness website and discovered a whole slew of interesting looking questionnaires, including the one calling to me -- Signature Strengths. My results were both unsurprising and edifying, and I feel compelled to share the top five (of 24) with you today.

My top strength is Spirituality, sense of purpose, and faith. Not surprising considering how much time I am currently dedicating to my connection to my Source. I would guess that if I had taken this questionnaire a year ago, this would not have turned up number one, but today it truly is the best thing I have going for me and the source of the contentment I find in each day.

My second strength is Appreciation of beauty and excellence. This is definitely one that I try to cultivate. I happen to believe I live in one of the most beautiful places on earth, so most days this is easy, but I can find beauty in anything, anyone, anywhere.

My third strength is Love of learning. Oh, if Ms. Tinsley could just see me now. I was the bane of many a schoolteacher's existence -- that kid who didn't pay attention in class, never did her homework, but still did well on tests. I always had an affinity for learning, but was so often bored it didn't come out in school until I was about halfway through college. As an adult, learning is a source of great pleasure for me, and I find myself taking classes whenever I can.

My fourth strength is Perspective (wisdom). Who knew I was so wise? I definitely do believe that we each hold a unique perspective, and mine is valuable precisely because it is uniquely mine. The unique perspectives of other individuals help me to hone my own, and I hope vice versa. The world is such an interesting place full of such interesting people. And hey, I'm one of them!

My fifth strength is Capacity to love and be loved. I love just about everyone I come in contact with. Now, that doesn't mean I always like them, but I can always find something in them to love. I am also blessed with parents whose love for me I have never had reason to doubt, affectionate and loving family members, a burgeoning family of choice (aka my friends), and the love of a supportive husband and adoring cats. It's a good place to be.

I love having the opportunity to explore and celebrate my strengths. I have spent too much of my life being my own biggest critic, focusing on all of my weaknesses and flaws. Just thinking about my strengths brings a smile to my face and warmth to my heart. Isn't that a much better place to live? I already feel that authentic happiness flooding into my life, and I've only just begun. Namaste.

2 comments:

b said...

What a great post.

To our strengths!

-bri

Jenn Sheridan said...

Thanks, Bri! I'm still reaping the benefits of the perspective shift today. :)

Hey, if you should choose to reveal your "signature strengths," I'd love to hear what your top five are!