The firewood itself is not the fire. – Nagajuna
How cool is that? Instantly, my Strategic and Ideation strengths leapt into action, creating an analogy. Your strengths are your firewood, and you are the fire. Without the personal incarnation, the ignition in your heart, mind and soul, they are dead. When you fuel your strengths with the winds of passion, knowledge, skills (and practice!), they light up the world.
This is why I love to see people use their strengths – I am passionate about helping people be wildly successful and happy. My favorite emails are from my friends, colleagues and clients “lighting it up!”
This also proves why we can’t form a one-to-one map of strengths to roles. We could all have the same strengths (firewood) but our fires are NEVER the same. The best role for me would be different from the best role for you – even if we have the same top 5 strengths. Your flame is different from mine. When we become better and stronger at using our strengths, our unique value proposition shines through.
While I was on vacation, I received a marvelous email from a colleague of mine who resides on another continent. Sarah D emailed me about her experience with developing and leveraging her strengths, with intent, over the past year. I edited it to remove company information.
Hi Maureen – the power of your strengths work lives on! I have been living by the strengths this year and through my commitment to play to my strengths I am making small but significant differences to the lives of my (teammates) everyday. Thank you again for being such an agent for change in my contribution to (company name) this year! I salute you! – Sarah
Sarah took the slow but steady route, and it paid off. Small but significant is good – it proves that Sarah is in it for the long haul. Sarah’s email reminds me of the point of the quote below.
We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining – they just shine. – Dwight L. Moody
So, my friends, let us light up the sky and be beacons of hope with our total awesomeness. What does it look like when YOU are on fire? Inquiring minds want to know!