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Strengths Hero BLOG

To be a hero for anyone else, you first must be a hero to yourself. ~Nadalie Bardo

Are you self-actualized?

This is a BIG question and probably a much better one is are in you intentionally in the process of being self-actualized? What about your business – is it evolving? How are you supporting others in your personal and professional life to grow and develop?

Do you remember Abraham Maslow? He is most famous for his theory of “self-actualization.” In Maslow’s era, psychology had a single-minded focus on mental illness. Neurosis and psychosis were the central themes psychologists studied and sought to understand.

Thank goodness Maslow asked a new question: “What does positive mental health look like?

A man after my own heart... he stressed the importance of focusing on the positive qualities in people, as opposed to treating them as a "bag of symptoms". His lifelong research into this area yielded a new concept that is still growing in understanding 60 years later… self-actualization.

According to Maslow, the happiest people were able to...

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What the Heck Is a STRENGTH — Really?

It occurred to me today that maybe it’s time to breakdown a few terms I tend to throw around in my conversations about strengths. By now you know I’m strongly encouraging you to become a STRENGTHS HERO for yourself and others but at a basic level – what is a STRENGTH?

Let’s start with the word TALENT. A talent is simply a natural way we think, feel and behave — nothing more…nothing less. You could also refer to it as a natural tendency.  If you are not in charge of your talents or natural tendencies, they might even operate more as compulsive ways to think, feel and behave. Talents, natural tendencies just are and they can show up very early in life. When I was four, the lamp wasn't working so I got out a screw driver and opened the outlet to "fix" the light. While my mother was less than impressed with my natural "talent" to just jump in when I encounter something I want to do, I have been able to develop and direct that...

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The world has just lost Kobe Bryant — a true STRENGTHS HERO!

“The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great at whatever they want to do.” ~Kobe Bryant 

When I watch and listen to the outpouring of love and admiration for Kobe, I’m deeply touched. He is a phenomenal example of a person who has dedicated an astonishing amount of time, energy, focus and determination to developing, mastering and turning his natural talents (and some say marginal in basketball initially) into not only his strengths but his Superpowers.

The real reason I say he is a true STRENGTHS HERO though, is because he also dedicated himself to inspiring others to bring out their greatness.

It seems though that his true natural talents were not his athletic prowess but his legendary work ethic and passion for learning and studying how to play smarter.

In long-time Lakers head trainer Gary Vitti’s book, he writes quite a bit about Kobe and specifically about where his success came from.

“He was talented, but...

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But I Need a Kick-In-The-Butt

 

Maybe you do need a kick-in-the-butt – I suppose we all need a swift kick once in a while but I guarantee you that a steady diet of kicks in the ass will not work!  

There are two primary forms of motivation we all deal with which are 1) pain / consequences and 2) pleasure / rewards. Which is more powerful? Well that depends. Pain or consequences can be very compelling in getting us to start or stop something and I definitely utilize this tool personally and in my coaching but SPARINGLY!

Here’s the thing, pain works in short doses at the right time. If you are on the edge of doing something you want or need to and you are capable (whether you know it or not), then a swift dose of immediate consequence can be perfect to get yourself moving. However, if you use this tactic consistently it loses its power and it will take more and more pain to get you into action. That’s a very unfulfilling and unhappy game to play in life. And...

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Now, Later, Never...When to Use Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement can be very effective whether that means giving yourself a simple pat on the back or using some other type of positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is widely accepted as a powerful method of teaching, training and building positive habits and behaviors.

But WHEN should you give it to yourself (or someone else)? 

Utah State University published a behavioral guidelines checklist which confirms that  positive reinforcement is most effective when it occurs immediately after the behavior. The guidelines also recommend the reinforcement should be presented enthusiastically and should occur frequently. One of the beauties of a simple pat on the back is that it can easily be done in the moment.

The shorter the amount of time between any behavior you want to reinforce and the subsequent positive reinforcement, the stronger the connection will be in the brain — remember the brain tells us to move TOWARD pleasure and AWAY from pain.

Delay of...

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What does the word Cornucopia have to do with Talents and Strengths?

The word cornucopia came to me this morning. Since it’s a word I can’t remember ever using before unless I was reading it – probably around Thanksgiving, I became interested in what relationship it might have to being a Strengths Hero for myself and others. So of course, I Googled a couple of thesaurus sites for the word Cornucopia and here’s what I found…

plethora, quantity, torrent, wealth, affluence, avalanche, capacity, copiousness, deluge, flood, fruitfulness, fund, heaps, loads, lots, mass, mine, mountains, oodles, opulence, peck, piles, gold mine, mother lode, treasure trove, wellspring, abundance, feast, plenitude, plenty, superabundance, and more.

Got the idea?

Natural talents and potential strengths are plentiful in YOU and in OTHERS. The only question is whether or not you have trained your mind to notice/discover them and then to grow and develop them. In a world of chaos, blame and focusing so much attention on problems, we can get trapped...

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You Have Unlimited Renewable Energy Within Yourself!

There is an absolutely wonderful book entitled, How Full Is Your Bucket by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D. that offers the metaphor of the dipper and the bucket. According to them, we each have an invisible bucket that is constantly being emptied or filled based on what others do and say.

My experience is that a major factor affecting the emptying or filling of that bucket is in our own hands!

 A full bucket inspires a positive outlook and approach to life and work and since its level is in our hands, it becomes an unlimited renewable energy. Each time you fill your own bucket (or someone else’s) you get stronger. On the other hand, an empty bucket poisons our thoughts, zaps our energy and weakens our will to take action.

So, we face a choice on a daily basis.

Do we leave it up to the external world to fill or empty our own bucket or do we take charge of filling it ourselves? Do we fill or empty other’s buckets (which indirectly affects our own)?

...

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The Deep Fear of Not Being Good Enough

There are experts who propose that our two greatest fears are 1) Not being good enough and 2) Not being loved.

Really those fears are one and the same because what we’re really afraid of is that if we’re not good enough, competent enough, smart enough, “fill in the blank” enough, then we won’t be loved.

Think about this…

We are humans (big surprise right?) and as infants we depend on love, attention, and care for our physical survival.  Therefore, somewhere deep in our psyche is a fear that if we aren’t loved, we could die — overly dramatic? Maybe, but haven’t you ever noticed that the intensity of some of your fears frequently are just not supported by the reality of the situation? The girl just walks away when you ask her out, or someone doesn’t agree with your opinion, or someone simply says “no” to you when you ask for a favor, a sale, etc. —so freakin’ what? But how many of us avoid...

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The Magic Ratio

According to the Nobel Prize-winning scientist Daniel Kahneman, each day we experience approximately 20,000 moments — a moment being defined as the few seconds it takes our brain to process / record an experience.  We may record the moment as positive, negative or neutral however, we tend to primarily remember the positive or negative moments. How we remember these moments dramatically affects the quality of our days, weeks, years and ultimately our life.

According to a decade of scientific study, the ratio of positive-to-negative interactions / experiences / moments we experience can be used to predict—with remarkable accuracy—everything from workplace performance to divorce. This work, which began with noted psychologist John Gottman’s exploration of positive-to-negative ratios in marriages. Using a 5:1 ratio, which Gottman dubbed ‘the magic ratio,’ he and his colleague predicted whether 700 newlywed couples would stay together or...

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Is Fear Blocking You from Your Strengths?

We all have natural strengths and talents and when we spend the lion’s share of our time and energy engaged in activities that bring out those strengths and talents, most of us will be much more successful and certainly more fulfilled.

But are you letting fear block you from your strengths?

You may not even realize it. In my coaching practice, I’m working with clients every day to go after and attain what they truly desire in their life. Sometimes repeated efforts without results is simply a matter of needing a better strategy but that’s rare.

Two of the most common reasons for not attaining what you truly desire are:

1) Going after goals that are not aligned with your strengths and/or

2) Allowing fear to block you from a relentless pursuit of your goals.

So how do you handle both of these. For #1 — Take the 21-Days to Supercharge Your Strengths Course to help you align your natural talents and strengths with your goals. 

Now how to overcome fear…...

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