Marcus Buckingham, a career consultant and coach, was on The Oprah Show Friday, and I was instantly enamored...not just by his devilishly handsome good looks, but also by his energy, enthusiasm, and message. Essentially, his message is that in our lives and work we should be playing to our strengths. While I realize this isn't neccessarily a novel idea, his approach was new and exciting .
Answer this question: What are your strengths?
Now, think about moments and activities in your daily life and work in which you feel good, alive, excited, and energized. According to Buckingham, these are your strengths...those things in life that make you feel good and full of energy. I've always thought about my strengths as those things I am good at doing, not necessarily what I am doing in those instances that make me feel good and fill me up. Once we adapt our definition of our strengths, we then must figure out how we can start to implement more of our strengths into our current lives or restructure aspects of our lives to include more of our strengths. When we do this, we are more fulfilled and in-line with our spiritual calling.
While I typically don't make New Year's Resolutions (because I think it's important to consistently reflect on my life and set goals and intentions that align with my values and aspirations rather than just do this at one set point at the beginning of each year), I do intend to really focus in 2009 on using my true strengths to the fullest. I am setting the intention right now to create a life for myself in which I integrate more of my strengths--instances of feeling goood, alive, and enthusiastic.
Marcus Buckingham has a free on-line seminar at www.oprah.com/workshop. I highly suggest you check it out. I know I will be participating in it over the next few weeks.
Here is your yogathought for the day from Julia Cameron:
"Over any extended period of time, being an artist requires enthusiasm more than discipline. Enthusiasm is not an emotional state. It is a spritual commitment, a loving surrender to our creative process, a loving recognition of all the creativity around us. Enthusiasm (from the Greek, 'filled with God') is an ongoing energy supply tapped into the flow of life itself. Enthusiasm is gounded in play, not work. Far from being a brain-number soldier, our artist is actually our child within, our inner playmate. As with all playmates, it is joy, not duty, that makes for a lasting bond."
Wishing you many moments of enthusiasm and enjoyment in life. Live your strengths.