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Part of Thinking Big is letting the world see you at your best. I spent the first ten years of my career as a forensic accountant. Anyone who knows me would tell you that I’m not naturally mathematical and I really dislike details. A lot of that decade felt like a struggle to try and fit my square peg into a round hole. Eventually I realised that there must be an easier way.
I stepped back and reflected on what came naturally to me. I’ve always been a people person and felt a natural empathy and desire to help others be successful. Another theme I unearthed was the ability to quickly see the big picture and design a strategic solution. I started to focus my day-to-day work on managing teams and taking a strategic oversight role on projects. I was playing much more to my strengths and suddenly people started to see my true potential. I had found a square hole for my square peg.
Finding and using our strengths makes Thinking Big and Acting Big easier. When our goals and objectives are based on using our innate abilities they become easier to create and easier to achieve. So how can you identify your strengths?
The Gallup Organistaion have spent over 30 years studying people’s natural strengths. They have developed the philosophy that people are at their most successful when they play to their inherent strengths. The Gallup book Strengthfinder 2.0 by Tom Rath contains a test to help identify a person’s natural strengths and use them and this is a highly recommended. Taking the Strengthfinder test will help to get you thinking about how you are naturally unique in your combination of skills.
Another way to identify your inherent strengths is to take the VIA Survey of Character Strengths. This test was developed by leading psychologist Martin Seligman and provides you with a list of your strengths from 24 categories.
These tests provide a snapshot of how you operate at your best. As you start to Think Big about your future, you can consider whether your plans will allow you to really shine. Of course it is natural to also include development of other skills in your plan, however starting from a basis of strength is a solid foundation for personal success. As Strengthfinder 2.0 argues, “When we’re able to put most of our energy into developing our natural talents, extraordinary room for growth exits”.
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