William Blake said, “The true method of knowledge is experiment.” Experimenting in a variety of activities can help you to find your areas of strength. The key is to participate in the activities you enjoy, have a passion for, and that pull at your deepest heartstrings. You should play or work in a variety of areas until you begin to see the activities or tasks which come easier and more natural to you. When you begin to find your areas of strengths then concentrate your time on them. Allow the power of experimenting to direct you toward your personal strengths. In Now, Discover Your Strengths, Donald O. Clifton said this about experimenting until you begin to identify your areas of strengths:
There is one sure way to identify your greatest potential for strength: Step back and watch yourself for a while. Try an activity and see how quickly you pick it up, how quickly you skip steps in the learning and add twists and kinks you haven’t been taught yet. See whether you become absorbed in the activity to such an extent that you lose track of time. If none of these has happened after a couple of months, try another activity and watch-and another. Over time your dominant talents will reveal themselves, and you can start to refine them into a powerful strength.
I once was doing a coaching season with someone based around my book The Leadership Mandate, 10 Essential Elements To Developing The Leader Within You. The main element we were discussing during the call was becoming strength-based, specifically about how he could begin to discover his areas of strengths. I asked him a few questions along the lines of: What are the things you enjoy doing? What tasks come easy for you? What activities allow you to produce a high level of results?
He started to tell me about all of the different things he was doing both online and offline. The extensive list included: writing self-help content, life coaching, computer coding, creating websites, traveling, starting business, taking college classes, being involved with non-profits, and a range of other activities. He was doing the activities and tasks he felt drawn to do. In essence he was experimenting with a variety of activities to determine his areas of strengths and those he is the best at. He later told me he was beginning to see common tasks and activities which were causing him to be the most productive and produce high levels of results. If he continues to experiment, refine, and focus on the areas he is best at soon enough he will begin to discover his areas of strengths.
You can do the same thing if you chose to experiment with a variety of tasks and activities. Two practical ways on how you can begin to experiment include:
1. Asking your boss to do a task or be in a role (for a trial period) outside your normal work responsibilities.
2. Participate in a new activity, hobby, or experience during your free time. Select one you have never done or always wanted to do.
Find your strengths by beginning to experiment.
Question: How has experimenting allowed you to find or use your areas of strengths? Which of the above 2 ways of experimenting should you start doing?
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