Clear Intentions – Effective Actions®
Questions and Answers
Q: Katalin, there is so much hype about strengthening my strengths and forgetting my weaknesses, but I haven’t a clue how to do it. Can you shed some light on this?
A: Oh yes, I used to chew on this one for many long years, nodding my assent to this “wise” statement, but never really knowing how to go about finding my strengths and forgetting my weaknesses. From time to time, I was convinced that I had nothing but weaknesses, interspresed by some minuscule silver linings on the big black horizon.
Then revelation came from a wonderful test I had learned about during a course on Positive Psychology. Professors Marty Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania and Chris Peterson of the University of Michigan, two scientists of Positive Psychology fame, have created a brilliant test—the VIA or Values in Action test—to help you find your 24 Character Strengths, and in the process your five most significant ones. These are strengths—values—that are most important for you. These are what you are all about.
You can take the test here:
Q: OK. Let’s say I do this test and find out what’s most important for me. I still have my weaknesses. How can I forget about them? They thwart every effort I make at changing my life for the better. No matter what I do, I always lose interest and give up prematurely, regardless of how exciting some goal seemed at the beginning. I think that my weaknesses are just stronger than my strengths.
A: The beauty in the VIA test is that it helps you concentrate on your most important strengths. (By the way, I’m not getting any money from promoting the VIA.) With this process, your weaknesses (which I’m convinced are nothing more than bad habits you have picked up along the way) just fade away into insignificance. Weaknesses or bad habits are not carved in stone.
Q: That sounds nice, but how can I focus on my strengths when I don’t even know what I want to do? I don’t have an exciting and interesting goal, just a series of attempts at this and that. Nothing can hold my attention long enough.
A: This happens because you are searching for a goal in the wrong places and with the wrong methods. Let’s be frank, knowing what you want is a basic requirement for a satisfying life. Without a worthwhile goal you just stumble through life with a constant feeling of dissatisfaction. What a waste of time! What a waste of life! And what a waste of money! (If you are anything like me, you have spent quite a small fortune at “success gurus’ ultimate secrets”, only to be back at base line after the initial enthusiasm.)
Q: Yes, that’s me. But WHAT CAN I DO?
A: There is a simple solution: The hard part of it is that you have to use your BRAIN, a Notebook, and a Pen. That’s all. Nothing fancy or expensive. The easy part is twofold:
You can either
- use my book “From Confusion to Clarity: 5 Steps to Add Direction, Satisfaction, and Meaning to Your Life”
- attend my Workshops.
If you are willing to invest a little time and effort, you will succed eventually.
No more futile searching, no more frustration, no more wasted life for you!