The second key to energizing your life, as per Tom Rath in Are You Fully Charged? The 3 Keys to Energizing Your Work and Life is your interactions with others. (I wrote about meaning, the first key, in a previous post.)
The more time we spend with friends, with being optimistic and happy, and by being around other positive people, the happier we'll be. And doing for others and spending on others actually energizes you more than doing them for yourself.
There's also a cumulative advantage to the positive charge you give someone by instilling confidence in them, so encourage your children early. Part of this is helping someone see the potential in themselves that they may not be aware of.
Tom shares the touching story of writing his grandfather, Don Clifton, a letter before his death so that he knew how much he and his influence meant to Tom. After reading this letter not only did Don realize that Tom had a way with words, but he then asked him to help share his story. How Full Is Your Bucket? was the result of this, as was Tom discovering a strength he would not have known otherwise.
The flip side of this is ignoring a strength since it's not "profitable."
Do you have something that comes naturally to you and/or that you enjoy doing? Is it something you do for work or for fun? If the latter, do you recognize it as the strength it probably is? Or do you ignore it because it can't help you make a living?
I've written to some extent most of my life. I got a BFA in Creative Writing, spent enough of my career and MS in Publishing writing papers, have started and stopped other blogs in the past, and write countless e-mails and business communications daily. But I did not consider myself a writer, or writing a strength, despite my current blog and other publications since I don't get paid for them.
Given how much I've learned by writing and how much I gain, albeit in non-monetary ways, I'm embarrassed that I did not connect the dots for myself earlier.
So learn from my mistake. What strength(s) of yours are you blind to?
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