To understand your strengths, you must first begin to analyze your weaknesses. Studying strengths alone gives you a false concept and pretense of your capabilities. Only with a clear assessment of both strengths and weaknesses can you truly begin to perceive your full potential.

   Now, when I say weaknesses, please understand that I do not mean that you, I or anyone is deficient in any way. No one is great at everything. Even people who we view as being great because they excel at something like a sport or aggregating wealth are completely awful in other aspects of their lives. I know some extremely rich people who have poor coordination, family lives or social skills. By analyzing what our weaknesses are and where they lie, we prepare to compensate for them by either honing those skills or adding people to our lives who compensate for our weaknesses while our strengths compensate for their weaknesses in kind.

   Another key aspect of for understanding your strengths is to understand that you don’t know what you don’t know. That can be a difficult concept for some people to grasp. Think of them as blind spots. We all have them. In understanding you have blind spots, you foresee the need for exploration and the importance of seeking guidance. Be open-minded and ask friends and people you respect for constructive criticism and then listen with a discerning ear. What rings true to you? What makes sense? Incorporate constant learning into part of your process regardless of how much of an expert you become in a particular area.

   Now, with a complete appreciation for what strengths entail, it’s time to figure out how to best apply them by defining what’s important in your life. I’m not just talking about your career but the entire panapoly of what defines you. You must consider your health, physical fitness, family life, spiritual connection, social life, and career in the equation. Our lives are comprised of a multitude of aspects. You will not apply the same rigid standards to each one, nor will each leg of this multi-pronged stool be equal. If you don’t yet have children then your career or social life may have greater importance. Then again, perhaps focusing too much on career or social life might be the reason you don’t yet have children. That’s only something you can know and decide. However, without even thinking about it to begin with, you’ll never figure out how you are interfering with your own pursuit of happiness.

So, take the time to understand your strengths. Analyze them, get to know what makes you tick. By doing so, you ultimately set yourself up for success in whatever you put your mind to.