Building on Your Design
Finding purpose in your design often brings greater satisfaction over a lifetime. God has given you unique personality traits, skills, interests, and values that shape the way you think and behave. Living in accordance with your design not only increases your likelihood of success, but it can bring you greater joy and bring God greater glory.
Your design is evidenced in what motivates you, how you interact with others, how you best learn, how you instinctively present yourself, and what brings you satisfaction. Each of us is born with innate gifts and then grows to do things in certain ways. Though we often refer to the best of these innate talents as “strengths,” the truth is that many of us have latent abilities that aren’t yet fully utilized (and therefore aren’t recognized as strengths). This is because some natural talents still need to be cultivated (through growing in knowledge and developing in skill) to truly become strengths.
Although many of us tend to assume that our focus should be on minimizing our weaknesses (and indeed some growth in this way is always good), in fact most successful people instead choose to focus on building their strengths. Think about it. You’ll never be able to overcome your natural weaknesses to the point of distinction. That’s like trying to build a tall building in a giant pit…it’ll never rise above the skyline. But if you build on something that you already have a strong foundation for, you’re far more likely to achieve success and really have something great to offer to others. In this scenario, the high-rise you’re constructing is being built on a beautiful hill—already a stand-out project with loads of potential from the very beginning.
Take two minutes to ponder and record your answers to the questions below. Be sure to write them out, as 95% of the value of this reflection comes from actually considering-as-you-write.
- What would you say, on a scale of 1-10 (10 being “I really know myself through and through” and 1 being “I’m a total mystery to myself”), about how well you feel like you know your innate strengths?
- What are a couple of things that you’re great at and love to do? Why?
In addition to today’s reflection, we challenge you to bring some of your questions and thoughts to one or two people who know you best and trust to give good advice. Ask them the following questions:
- If you were to describe me to someone else using three words, what would they be (and why)?
- What are a few characteristics/qualities that you think are essential to who I am?
Want to learn more about the strengths you’ve been given? Check out the StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment -- a powerful, accessible ($10), concise way to start learning about your gifting.