Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Maximising Our Strengths

Why get down on ourselves on account of our weaknesses and failures? It is better to concentrate on those things we’re already good at, as impetus to bring those lagging up to right pace.

Of course, the above statement cannot be an all-inclusive approach to life but it can be our overriding modus operandi.

There are things where we’re an eight-out-of-ten and there are things where we’re a four-out-of-ten. The concept that we can improve a skill or a facet of our character from a four to a five-out-of-ten is not nearly as attractive as the idea that we can take an eight to a nine-out-of-ten.

The Fundament of Purpose

What is most important to these aspects of discussion is the idea of life purpose—for all are blessed to find one.

We only need to be really good at relatively few things to attract such purpose to life. Suddenly we’re becoming something we perhaps had never dreamed about, but it unfolds before us anyway—and we find it inordinately attractive.

Those things we become really good at do tend to influence our general motivation at life powerfully.

The Appreciative Mindset

Positive psychology and positive thinking get a bad rap in faith circles quite often—many thinking both faith and ‘pop psychology’ are mutually exclusive. I’ve always sought to provide evidence that they’re one and the same, or rather, positive thinking and positive psychology are a language of faith (when connected centrally to God), i.e. one of many, that God succours us to.

The appreciative mindset is thinking optimistically about things.

It’s constructive in the sense that it maximises strengths and opportunities. It’s not in denial of the weaknesses and threats; although they must be dealt with, they just aren’t the innate focus.

Correcting or Right-Sizing Our Vision

For too long now we’ve perhaps grown adept at getting down regarding what’s going or gone wrong in our lives. Our failures, fixations and frustrations continue to weigh us down and we seem destined for more of the miserable life the more we focus on them.

Could it just be that we’re now able to reflect and right-size our foci?

Might it be now, with all of what’s now transpired, that we can ponder and then decide to focus positively and broaden our strengths, drawing upon much vaunted confidence as we do?

There is so much more to gain and nothing to lose in this sort of approach.

A Faith-Fit

And, finally, this fits with faith.

Indeed, the best manifestation of faith is the moral deployment of character growth suited to positive thinking. Thinking positively is positively God’s will for us, always.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.


  1. I like the idea of "maximizing our strenghts". I had a course in graduate school that taught that in the work world it was best to discover what your strengths were and play to those. Some much of people management has been centered around the idea of a review the goes over a persons strengths but then goes on to concentrate on the areas that they can improve. Once I stopped trying to get my employees to improve on areas that they were not good at and instead trying to take advantage of what they were good at things went so much better.

  2. Thanks John. I love the appreciative approach. It's a winner at every corner. God bless.


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