Strength is not about muscle or power, it’s about knowing WHO you truly are then taking action toward becoming!
Here’s how your key strengths can bring more health & happiness!
“Those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection, whose heart is firm, will pursue their principles unto death.” adapted from Leonardo da Vinci
Strength is not the opposite of weakness but knowing your strengths AND weaknesses is not something we naturally identify with because society conditions us to ‘work’ on our weaknesses. Ever get a ‘B’ and be told it wasn’t good enough? What message or strength does that encourage? Would you agree that we spend more time focusing on overcoming our weaknesses than developing our strengths?
I’ve focused on Men’s Health, Summer, Heart Health, Sleep and Happiness and I wanted to wrap up June with what I believe about strength, a Yang energy considered masculine from the TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) perspective. It’s important for both men and women to understand how your top signature strengths through the Character Strengths test and how the Strengthfinder test is only the starting point to greater health and happiness. Here’s how to take that further.
“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” adapted from Leonardo da Vinci
Knowing your strengths is just the start! Take all personal assessment tests with an open mind. In principle, knowing the difference between your talents and strengths will help you get to the starting point. Read the fine print from the tests above!
Know only that we know nothing
Approach life, health and wealth with a beginners mind then develop a growth mindset (more below). Shoshin (初心) is a word from a Zen Buddhism belief meaning “beginner’s mind.” If you practice this, you can not only have better experiences and relationships but also improve your health & wellbeing.
Know and not to do is not yet to know
Taking action on what you’ve learned the past weeks is the difference between success and failure but even failure is taking action and IF you are learning from it then it becomes a life lesson. This applies to both men and women especially men who talk about everything they know but do nothing. Know anyone like this?
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo da Vinci
Life is simple, it’s people who are complicated! It’s not a man or woman thing, we are ALL more than our strengths and weaknesses, our dreams and aspirations or what we have or don’t have. One of my most powerful learning experiences during this difficult time caregiving for parents and being a social entrepreneur and master of sleep has been a ‘simple’ (but not always easy) concept of cultivating a growth mindset.
I’ve been studying neuroscience and coaching over the years and learning about how our brains can change (neuroplasticity) and how habits can actually impact changes in thought, behavior and identity. Understanding WHO we really are starts with a growth mindset and learning from the challenges almost more than learning from the outcome.
The paradigm is changing from thinking that success is based on talent alone to one of a growth mindset, one that believes that abilities can evolve through dedication and action, with intelligence (more later on emotional intelligence) and talent as the starting point. Whether it’s your health, your life, your business/career, relationships or emotional & mental health, start with knowing your strengths and make a growth mindset one of your greatest strengths.
“The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.” Leonardo da Vinci
Curious about why I’ve used Da Vinci quotes for this post or want to learn more about how knowing yourself increases health and happiness in more detail? Let’s have a chat HERE!
If you’re in the Seattle/Tacoma area Saturday, June 29th, join the Science and Practice of Happiness Playshop where we’ll be sharing more ‘secrets’ to long life!