Strength based living is an approach to life that amplifies who you are and what you do when at your best – your strengths. Your character strengths help define this essence of you. Developing character strengths expands your capacity to contribute in ways that are unique to you and navigate through life’s challenges with resilience. When living a strength based life, you are crafting your life intentionally around your strengths and harnessing the collective power of other people’s strengths to elevate the good in the world.
I’ve observed that people who live strength based lives tend to:
Pursue the Positive
Positive experiences and emotions are like deposits in a bank account. They’re valuable. As you deposit more, the value grows. As it grows, it appreciates even more and provides resources to accomplish your goals. Similarly, as your positive experiences and emotions grow, so do your internal reserves. These reserves expand your capacity to do and become more. They also serve as a buffer when illness, loss, or other adversity strikes. The higher the reserves, the greater your capacity to respond in healthful ways.
Make Strengths Matter
Millions of people around the world have completed assessments to identify their strengths. Unfortunately, too many of us haven’t developed a meaningful awareness of how to engage them well to cultivate the good. An essential role of leaders is to create opportunities to amplify strengths. If you’re a parent, that means giving your kids opportunities to explore and live into their strengths. If you’re a manager, that means giving your employees roles and assignments that elevate theirs. Don’t forget that your strengths matter, too.
Practice and Grow
Applying your strengths isn’t always easy or intuitive, but you can learn to apply the right blend of strengths to enhance the situations you face each day. Practice and repetition are key to crafting your life around your strengths. Through practice, you will notice when you tend to overuse your strengths and the negative consequences this creates, then learn to temper this overuse. You will put your strengths into action to achieve important goals and overcome obstacles. You can engage the “happiness” strengths and notice how happiness is often only one character strength away. There are so many facets to explore and ways your character strengths can help you thrive.
Share the Wisdom
One of the best ways to live your strengths is to teach others to live theirs. When your strengths combine with other people’s strengths, you create something entirely new, much like what happens when your favorite musicians combine to perform your favorite song. Strengths synergies build energy, performance, and momentum. By sharing your strengths knowledge and wisdom with others, you begin to create a positive ripple effect.
Pursue the positive. Make strengths matter. Practice and grow. Share the wisdom.
Live a strength based life.