“You can be anything you want to be, if you just try hard enough.”
Like most, I embraced this misguided maxim when I was young. I loved basketball. I played everyday and, quiet frankly, I was pretty good. I was a star on my high school team. I was a regularly chosen player for pick up games. However, no matter how much I practiced and tried, I was not college material. Let alone an NBA pick.
Many of us never outgrow the “You-can-be-anything-you-want-to-be” maxim. Similar scenarios playout in our workplaces and home every day. Studies show that an overwhelming majority of parents (77% in the United States) think that a student’s lowest grades deserve the most time and attention. I have been part of that percentage. In reality, the person who has always struggled with numbers is unlikely to be a great accountant. Even Michael Jordon never became the “Michael Jordon” of baseball or golf.
So, at the risk of sounding heretical by stating this as a misguided maxim, let me reframe it.
“You cannot be anything you want to be, but you can be a lot more of who your already are.”
How can I change your mind? Let me ask you a few questions…
Do you dread going to work?
Do you have more negative than positive interactions with your colleagues?
Do you treat your customers poorly?
Do you achieve less on a daily basis?
Do you have fewer positive and creative moments?
If you answered yes to any, most or all of these questions, then you are most likely not working in your strength zone.
Your strength zone is where you feel most satisfied, empowered, self-assured, strong, etc. If you experience this, you are in the zone. If you don’t, you probably answered yes to all of the earlier questions.
Author John Acuff poses, “What do you love to do so much that time seems to disappear?” In short, it is what you were made to do.
Millions struggle all their life in search of their strength zone. They show up everyday to a job and can’t wait for the day to end. Caught in the perpetual loop of despair.
Mark Twain once told the story of a man who died and met Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates. The man asked a question he had wondered about all his life.
He said, “Saint Peter, I have been interested in military history for many years. Who was the greatest general of all time?”
Saint Peter responded, “Oh, that’s a simple question. It’s than man over there.”
“You must be mistaken,” replied the man, “I knew that man on earth, and he was just a common laborer.”
“That’s right my friend,” assured Saint Peter. “He would have been the greatest general of all time, if he had been a general.”
Far too many people spend a lifetime heading in the wrong direction without uncovering their greatest talents and potential.
Join us next week as we discuss how to identify your strengths.
If you would like more information on how we can help your or your organization improve contact Azimuth Consulting at firstname.lastname@example.org