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How to Leverage Your Strengths

Strengths Finder 2.0 is a self-reflection book that argues, you are "six times as likely to be engaged" in a job and "more than three times as likely to have an excellent quality of life in general." Intriguing right?

"The Path of Most Resistance"

For the last few months, I've run into hurdles as I navigate my way through the tech industry in SF to hone my design skills. I often encounter software engineers, financial market managers and advertising-types. Finding like-minded designers is a rare treat. When I get stuck, I ask myself, What Would Rudy Do? ....Well, Rudy will keep trying. Rudy is the symbol of American culture: Persevere. Conquer even if you feel like you are the underdog.

For the first time, this glorified message, according to the author is "taking the path of most resistance." He reframes the story -- invest your time, money and resources to your strengths, your talents. Practice at it. Manage your weaknesses.

Before reading this book, you can take a survey that identifies your talents. I love personality and self-reflection test like these. I found it pretty accurate.  (Here is the link if you would like to try it: https://strengths.gallup.com/registration/step2.aspx) My results:

  1. Learner: I have a constant urge to be learning. In college, I started out majoring in Architecture. Along the way, I also managed to major in Business. After 4 years, I had taken so many classes, I qualified for a minor in City & Regional Planning. Two majors and 1 minor.
  2. Achiever: Today, I had to cross off at least 10 things off my list of to-do's to feel successful: learned about Jobs To Be Done Interviews, conducted 3 JTBD interviews, analyzed the interviews, took the Strengths Finder 2.0 survey, read the book, went to Berkeley to house-sit, watched Udemy tutorials on Bootstrap 3...the list goes on. It's a perpetual challenge, the feeling that I have to keep reaching for my goal.
  3. Futuristic: Still thinking of an example...To be updated :)
  4. Input: I like to collect passport stamps, meaning, I like to travel to different countries, to a bucket list of national parks, cities and towns. Each location offers novelty, architecture, shops, idiosyncrasies.
  5. Significance: Each year since I could remember, I worked hard to be admired for success. In 2nd grade, I won a spelling bee. In 4th and 5th grade, I won the student council elections. In Middle School, I had straight A's and never missed a day of class. In high school, I developed darkroom photos which landed me a small photo scholarship. Listing out these achievements builds up my ego,  builds up my pride and power. Problem is -- I rely on the approval and applause of others.