To flourish, we need to respect our essential nature. Unlike machines, which can do the same repetitive task over and over, as human beings, we can't do this. We get bored, make mistakes, get repetitive stress injuries. But unlike machines, what we can do is learn, grow, and self-actualize. This is our essential nature.
To become most fully ourselves, we need to value our essential nature and our own personal strengths. I write about discovering our strengths in my book, Your Personal Renaissance, and ask all my coaching clients to take the free positive psychology survey at www.viacharacter.org to discover their own character strengths and use them to reach their goals.
You can discover your character strengths by taking the survey as well. You can also begin getting more in touch with your strengths with this brief meditation.
- First close your eyes, take a deep mindful breath, and slowly exhale.
- As you breathe a little more slowly and deeply than usual, feel your shoulders relax and any tension gently release.
- Then think of a time in your life when you felt a sense of joy and vitality, feeling deeply and fully yourself.
- As you visualize that time, notice where you were and what you were doing.
- Take a moment to breathe in that feeling, to enjoy reliving the experience. What did it look like and feel like?
- Notice what strengths you were using.
- Was one of your strengths courage? Compassion? Creativity? Teamwork? Feeling a deep connection with nature, another person, or an animal companion? Was it curiosity? Learning? Perseverance? Or something else?
- Breathe in a deeper awareness of your own personal strengths as you name them to yourself..
- And think of one way you can use these strengths more often in your life today.
- See yourself doing this in your imagination.
Now gently open your eyes and begin using your strengths more often to discover greater joy and meaning in the days to come.