“We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.” -Madam Curie, French Physicist, twice winner of the Nobel Prize
What makes an exceptional life? How do you know if you’re living one? I posit that it is when you are daily engaging your strengths doing what you love to do. In the disciplines, or fields of study, of business, psychology, human services, education etc., individuals employing their strengths often, are more productive and satisfied than those who do not engage them.
“Strengths development begins with individuals recognizing and psychologically owning their talents” (Hodges & Harter, 2005)
Here’s a simple formula given by strengths-based researchers (Clifton & Anderson, 2002):
A talent+knowledge+a specific set of skills=a strength
However, raw talent alone does not denote a strength. It must be recognized, developed, and precisely exercised until a confident level or mastery is achieved. Then, this unique gift can be called on to perform consistently with exceptional results.
An individual must become intentional in pursing and assessing their strengths in order to ascend the stages of strengths development. These phases can be worked through to gain mastery. I titled my theory, “The Personal Strengths Ascension Model ©”.
Stage 1-Strengths identification- illumination/assessment
During this stage, a recognition of betterment leads to self-exploration.
Stage 2-Strengths activation- preparation/development
Here, the individual begins their strengths development journey of self-discovery.
Stage 3- Strengths acceleration- application/engagement
At this point, strengths are knowingly engaged and applied, producing consistent results.
Stage 4-Strengths actualization- transformation/enactment
Finally, strengths mastery is attained producing a personal paradigm shift into a new dimension of becoming and purpose.
Understanding and pursuing these personal strengths stages produces a personal paradigm shift!
Next week, we will begin focusing on each one of the stages and how they may lead to you and I living an exceptional life.
Clifton, D. O., & Anderson, E. C. (2002). StrengthsQuest: Discover and develop your strengths in academics, career, and beyond (1st ed.). Washington, DC: Gallup Organization.
Hodges, T. D., & Harter, J. K. (2005, Spring). A review of the theory and research underlying the StrengthsQuest program for students. Retrieved from https://www.monroecc.edu/depts/strengthsquest/documents /quest_for_strengths.pdf