Sunday, September 13, 2009

Curious about Strength: What Is Your Strongest? How Is It Serving You?

Definition of Strength:The quality or state of being strong; ability to do or to bear; capacity for exertion or endurance, whether physical, intellectual, or moral; force; vigor; power; as, strength of body or of the arm; strength of mind, of memory, or of judgment. That quality which tends to secure results; effective power in an institution or enactment; security; validity; legal or moral force; logical conclusiveness; as, the strength of social or legal obligations; the strength of law; the strength of public opinion; strength of evidence; strength of argument.

Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.” - Albert Einstein, German physicist

Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” - Napoleon Hill, American writer

I chose strength for this week’s theme – even though I have written about it before – because one of my readers and I were discussing the Strengths Finder test. The premise of the first book, Now Discover Your Strengths, and the follow-up, Strength Finder 2.0, is that we so often spend time and tears on working to overcome our weaknesses, that we don’t make use of our strengths.

From the book: “Unfortunately, most of us have little sense of our talents and strengths, much less the ability to build our lives around them. Instead, . . . we become experts in our weaknesses and spend our lives trying to repair these flaws, while our strengths lie dormant and neglected.”

By knowing our strengths, we can work to make them even stronger. Usually, we are happier and more passionate about our careers and our lives when we are using our strengths and talents. We enjoy doing what we are good at. The quotations I found – and there were plenty – can also serve as lessons in this area. I feel that you will learn lots from them too.

Let’s start with some of my favorites:
  • Wondrous is the strength of cheerfulness, and its power of endurance - the cheerful man will do more in the same time, will do it; better, will preserve it longer, than the sad or sullen.” - Thomas Carlyle, Scottish philosopher
  • It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires great strength to decide on what to do.” - Elbert Hubbard, American writer
  • Our passion is our strength.” - Billie Joe Armstrong, American musician
  • Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” - Harriet Tubman, American activist
  • Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others.” – Plato, Greek philosopher
  • My greatest strength is common sense. I'm really a standard brand - like Campbell's tomato soup or Baker's chocolate.” - Katharine Hepburn, American actress

And a couple more to take with you:

Only by contending with challenges that seem to be beyond your strength to handle at the moment you can grow more surely toward the stars.” - Brian Tracy, American author

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” - Mohandas Gandhi, Indian leader

What are your strengths? What is the strongest? And, how are you using it?