About You

I realize it seems pretentious for me to have an “About You” page on my blog. I mean, a lot of you will visit this site before I ever meet you, and we may never even meet. And even though some of you will show up here after meeting me briefly or seeing a comment or post from me somewhere online, I don’t really know you yet. So what could I possibly know About You?

I know you’re a person, and that means you have a unique combination of natural strengths and talents you were born with. I believe these are your gifts, in many ways. They are the ways in which you are “gifted,” where your abilities are strongest and cause other people to take notice. They are your gifts in the sense that when you develop them and share them with other people, you make their lives better. They need your special ability for problem-solving, organization, or design. They benefit from your capacity to work well with their animals or to teach their children.

I also think of them as gifts because I believe there is a divine influence in the design. It’s okay if you don’t agree with me on that point. I won’t try to convince you and I certainly won’t tell you you’re wrong. Whether our gifts are given with some intention or passed out randomly by meaningless fate, they’re given to each of us in our DNA.

I know that when you identify and develop your strengths you feel more capable, more satisfied, and more engaged with your work. I know your life has more purpose and you feel a stronger sense of well-being. I know this because that’s part of the definition of a strength.

When you’re engaged in an activity using one or more of your strengths, you can get into flow and lose track of time. You’re much more willing to endure the frustrations of trial and error while using a strength, which is part of the reason you’re able to get good at them. When you use a strength, you feel energized, not drained.

Since you’re a person, I also know you have what I call a “natural way of being.” That’s your style of interacting with people and with the world around you. This includes things measured in assessments, such as whether you are introverted or extraverted, a quick decision maker or a deliberative one. It also includes the rhythm that suits you, such as how you like your day to move from one activity to the next. It includes where you like to be, such as in nature, in a carefully planned creative space, or in the hustle and bustle of a busy environment. It includes the general pace and energy level that suits your best.

And since you’re a person I know you value certain things. I don’t know exactly what they are, because they are different for different people. But I know there are things that matter a lot to you. I don’t just mean moral values, although moral guidelines are values for many people. I mean things like valuing active recreation, valuing authentic relationships, or valuing the knowledge of heirloom activities like farming, hunting, canning, or weaving.

I also know that you are passionate about some things. I believe your passions are pretty closely tied to your strengths, talents, values, and natural way of being. I believe you are passionate about opportunities to use your strengths and develop your talents. I believe you are passionate about the things you value. And I believe you are passionate about honoring your natural way of being, whether you’ve ever thought of it that way before. If the ocean calls you or you love being up to see the sunrise, you understand what I mean.

This combination of characteristics and qualities make up your core self. Part of who you are has been shaped by your experiences and by learning from others. But experiences and lessons learned, hard or easy, accurate or not, do not change your core. Your strengths and talents are always there, waiting to be developed and used. What you value calls to you and directs you, even when you’ve gotten used to ignoring it. Your natural way of being fits in some situations with ease, but is unsettled or restless in others.

With certainty, I know that when you develop your strengths and talents and live in alignment with your values and your natural way of being, you become powerful. You’re doing what is easiest for you, and most natural. You’re drawing energy from your work instead of it draining you. You’re breathing plentiful fresh air instead of feeling stifled or even suffocated. You’re more flexible so you can adapt to changing circumstances and challenging situation more easily, and you’re more resilient when you stumble. You’re more likely to be at your best and have a strong sense of well-being and happiness that comes from a meaningful life.

When your core self is engaged and energized, you become guided and fueled by it. Driven by it. And you become a thriving force of nature. As you create your life guided driven by your core self, you become a Trailblazer.

I would love to learn more about you, so leave a comment on a post or contact me with your thoughts or questions.