What do you love? What makes you smile? What interests you? What are you good at? Your superpower lies at the intersection of the answer to these questions.
You might say, “I don’t know what I love.” So resolve to make 2016 a time of exploration and appraisal. Pay attention to what makes you curious and, equally important, what makes you yawn. Mindfully take in everything and reflect on it. Did something stick with you the next day? Did you share something with a friend? Those are the little clues that bring us closer to what makes us tick, toward the realization of our passions.
Passion is one thing, strengths are quite another. But, where your passions lie, your strengths tend to reside fairly close-by. Clarity around your strengths is one of the best assets you will ever have. It’s your podium. It’s your blanket. It’s your foundation and backbone.
Here are some simple ways to identify and remember all the things that make you the unique human that you are…
– Write down 20 things that make you “you”, and pick your top 5 strengths.
– Ask others that love (and will be honest with) you.
– Take a strengths assessment: VIA Signature Strengths tests.
Know that even when your passions and your strengths aren’t mutually exclusive, knowledge of each will help you make better choices, help you decide which direction to go, and help you recognize your value.
Not only is this an essential activity for you personally, but as a leader, it’s highly beneficial to undertake this with your team. Learning how individual group members and external colleagues see your team is a great way to recognize your inherent team value and to set your vision for 2016.
In the sage words of Steve Jobs:
“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking.
Don’t let the noise of other opinions drown your own inner voice.
And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition,
they somehow already know what you truly want to become.
Everything else is secondary.”
While everyone else is busy trying to stick to their resolutions for what they’d like to change this year, my wish for you in 2016 is that you’ll focus on what you love and what drives you forward. Don that cape proudly, Superhero.