Strengths such as integrity, valour, originality and kindness are not the same thing as talents. Talents could be described as having a perfect pitch or fast sprinting speed. They are not as buildable as strengths. Certainly they can be improved upon but being honest it is building on a talent/skill base that already exists.
Strengths can be built on even frail foundations and with enough practice and persistence they can really take root and flourish. Talents are more innate.
Building strengths and virtues and using them in daily life are very much a matter of making choices. It is about learning, training or conditioning. It requires being aware of one's reactions and responses. This can be quite challenging in the beginning but with persistence and conscious awareness we can develop the strength that we want while enhancing the talents we have.
We feel good about ourselves when we do the right thing. Maybe we have gone through an inner struggle deciding on our action but we can feel elevated and inspired when we take the virtuous action. Deep down we believe that good actions come from good character plus the exercise of choice.
What are your highest personal strengths?
Which would you like to develop further?
If you are finding it challenging putting names to a strength perhaps consider some of these questions.
Do you think things through, examining events from all sides? In other words you do not jump to conclusions and you consider this a strength?
Do you love learning new things perhaps in a class or on your own?
Are you open to experience and flexibility about matters that do not fit into your own preconceptions? In other words, are you a curious person?
Most of us have several signature strengths. Some of these we are consciously aware of and some of these we are not. I put it to you that when we are using our signature strengths we feel very authentic. It resonates with us and it rests well in our minds.
Going forward, try to apply your signature strengths as often as you can in your daily events, use them as frequently as you can in many different settings. This will bring a sense of abundance, gratification and authentic happiness. These are really important qualities in creating a meaningful life. Developing and enhancing our signature strength will enable us to deal with the challenges of life as we are building our resourcefulness. We are building our self belief in our ability to cope with the trials that life presents to us all.
If it helps write down one or two strengths that you would like to develop in the coming week, place them somewhere prominent or add them to your home screen, to create a mental awareness of your intended action, which is to develop your resilience and happiness through your chosen signature strengths.
Good luck with it!