My Top 5 Talents

strength2

This past week in my Life Purpose and Calling class, we learned about strengths. Strength itself means the ability to provide consistent near perfect performance in a specific given activity or so it states per our Strength Quest power point presentation.

Strength Quest, if I remember correctly, was created by the Gallup Management Team and is a group or organization that focuses on a person’s strength rather than their weaknesses in order to help them achieve success. The best of the best build their lives upon their greatest talents. They manage their weaknesses and they invent ways to take their talents to a new level.

According to the beliefs of those behind Strength Quest, each of us has a group of talents within us. Our greatest talents hold the key to high achievements, success, and progress to levels of personal experience. Becoming aware of our talents builds confidence and growth.

The class was instructed to go to www.strengthquest.com to take a thirty-minute test in order to discover our strengths. The results reflect our top five strengths. We were then asked to send our results to three of our closest friends to see if they concurred with the results. The reason for outside opinion is due to the fact that there are moments when we live in denial and what we are told we are doesn’t necessarily match up with what we think we are. I am happy to report that I not only agreed with my results but so did my friends. Of which I will share with you in just a moment, but first…

I would like to take a moment to expound on the word talent. According to www.Biblegateway.com there are 37 different references to the word talent in scripture. According to www.dictionary.com the word talent has 9 different meanings; here are a few:

1)      A special natural ability or aptitude

2)      A capacity for achievement or success; ability

3)      A power of mind or body considered as given to a person for use and improvement: so called from the parable in Matt. 25:14-30 (side note: I think it’s totally cool that dictionary.com references the scripture in their definition!)

4)      A various ancient unit of weight or monetary units equal in value

It’s this parable of the talents that I would like to discuss. Jesus gave the example where a man entrusted his slaves with his property and gave them each talents; one man was given five, another man two, and yet another one. The slave given five and two multiplied their talent by the same number given them. The slave given the one hid it and as a result lost not only the one talent but all that he had and was then cast aside. The slaves that multiplied their talents were given more, in abundance. What talent do you hold that your master has entrusted to you? Moreover, what are you doing with the talent entrusted to you?

According to Strength Quest, we all have talents and we all have five top talents. Are you building off your five top talents or are you hiding them? My prayer is that you are multiplying them so that you may be given more and given more in abundance. I pray that I too use my talents to multiply, succeed, and grow, that I too may be given more in abundance. At first glance, my top five don’t look like they would be very great to live a successful life. However, they are my talents nonetheless and it is my responsibility to multiply them so that I am able to be all that He wants, desires, knows, and has for me to be. The talents within each of us will vary in different images, shapes, sizes, packages, forms; sure, we may not be happy with what’s given us at first glance and undoubtedly, we will want a talent that another has. But when we look deep within ourselves and build off what our own talents are, we will find great success. After all, why be a photocopy when you are the original?  

Penny’s Top 5 Strengths per Strength Quest results:

Positivity:

Shared Theme Description:

People who are especially talented in the Positivity theme have an enthusiasm that is contagious. They are upbeat and can get others excited about what they are going to do.

About me:

You are generous with praise, quick to smile, and always on the lookout for the positive in the situation. Some call you lighthearted. Others just wish that their glass were as full as yours seems to be. But either way, people want to be around you. Their world looks better around you because your enthusiasm is contagious. Lacking your energy and optimism, some find their world drab with repetition or, worse, heavy with pressure. You seem to find a way to lighten their spirit. You inject drama into every project. You celebrate every achievement. You find ways to make everything more exciting and more vital. Some cynics may reject your energy, but you are rarely dragged down. Your Positivity won’t allow it. Somehow you can’t quite escape your conviction that it is good to be alive, that work can be fun, and that no matter what the setbacks, one must never lose one’s sense of humor.

What makes me stand out?

Because of your strengths, you inspire others by finding out what motivates them. You give individuals lots of recognition. You celebrate each person’s uniqueness. Your acknowledgements and compliments typically energize people. It’s very likely that you may brighten a room by simply entering it. Sometimes your upbeat attitude is contagious. Particular people respond to your friendly, sociable, lively, or animated personality. Possibly finding something to like in just about every person you meet is easy for you. Consequently, certain people might enjoy your companionship. Instinctively, you embrace life with more gusto when you can work or play alongside your teammates, classmates, coworkers, or peers. You normally figure out ways you can participate in a variety of group-oriented activities. Driven by your talents, you usually look forward to social events. Meeting and greeting lots of people delights you. The more you interact with these individuals, the more enthusiastic you are apt to be about life. By nature, you occasionally find yourself bringing people into your circle of acquaintances, friends, or family. Your ability to help individuals feel worthy of your time or attention may permit them to fit into the group.

Futuristic:

Shared Theme Description:

People who are especially talented in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and what could be. They inspire others with their visions of the future.

About me:

“Wouldn’t it be great if . . .” You are the kind of person who loves to peer over the horizon. The future fascinates you. As if it were projected on the wall, you see in detail what the future might hold, and this detailed picture keeps pulling you forward, into tomorrow. While the exact content of the picture will depend on your other strengths and interests—a better product, a better team, a better life, or a better world—it will always be inspirational to you. You are a dreamer who sees visions of what could be and who cherishes those visions. When the present proves too frustrating and the people around you too pragmatic, you conjure up your visions of the future and they energize you. They can energize others, too. In fact, very often people look to you to describe your visions of the future. They want a picture that can raise their sights and thereby their spirits. You can paint it for them. Practice. Choose your words carefully. Make the picture as vivid as possible. People will want to latch on to the hope you bring.

What makes me stand out?

Instinctively, you channel your mental and physical energies toward what you can accomplish in the months, years, or decades ahead. The question you must answer is this: “How far into the future can I think before my ideas start becoming vague or uninspiring?” Chances are good that you have an ability to imagine what visionaries believe is possible as you read about their innovative ideas and plans. The information you acquire generally frees you to make a mental leap from this moment in time to the future that these thinkers see. It’s very likely that you regularly pause to envision what you want to accomplish in the coming months, years, or decades. You think in terms of possibilities. This allows you to recover from setbacks, problems, disappointments, or even disasters. People are apt to marvel at your ability to remain upbeat in the face of life’s difficulties and unpredictability. By nature, you create detailed and vivid images of what the future promises. You can describe it long before others can imagine it. Because of your strengths, you have an imagination that allows you to peer into the future and see what is possible. Thinking about the coming years or decades makes you feel a lot more upbeat about yourself, your prospects, and your life.

Belief:

Shared Theme Description:

People who are especially talented in the Belief theme have certain core values that are unchanging. Out of these values emerges a defined purpose for their life.

About me:

You possess a strong Belief theme, you have certain core values that are enduring. These values vary from one person to another, but ordinarily your Belief theme causes you to be family-oriented, altruistic, even spiritual, and to value responsibility and high ethics—both in yourself and others. These core values affect your behavior in many ways. They give your life meaning and satisfaction; in your view, success is more than money and prestige. They provide you with direction, guiding you through the temptations and distractions of life toward a consistent set of priorities. This consistency is the foundation for all your relationships. Your friends call you dependable. “I know where you stand,” they say. Your Belief makes you easy to trust. It also demands that you find work that meshes with your values. Your work must be meaningful; it must matter to you. And guided by your Belief theme it will matter only if it gives you a chance to live out your values.

What makes me stand out?

By nature, you choose to live your life in a way that benefits individuals and society as a whole. You are highly motivated to make the world a better place than you found it. Your ideals and core values influence how you spend your time and use your talents. You have deep and abiding concern for others. Because of your strengths, you might seek to create a happier and more hospitable environment by reminding people about their accomplishments. Perhaps one of your missions in life is to build up the self-confidence of others. It’s very likely that you periodically think about ways you can provide for the basic needs of your entire family as well as the desires of particular individuals. Perhaps caring for your loved ones is one of your top priorities. Driven by your talents, you might be determined to push for specific kinds of changes that could benefit humankind or Earth itself. To some extent, your desire to have an impact motivates you to enter into conversations with intelligent people. Sometimes drawing on their knowledge and ideas as well as sharing your wisdom is exciting. Perhaps some of these discussions redirect your thinking or cause you to reexamine your purpose in life. Instinctively, you may be impelled to change the world for the better one person at a time. Perhaps you do this by assuring people you think well of them. Sometimes you remind individuals about their depth of knowledge, talent, and/or skill.

Input:

Shared Theme Description:

People who are especially talented in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.

About me:

You are inquisitive. You collect things. You might collect information—words, facts, books, and quotations—or you might collect tangible objects such as butterflies, baseball cards, porcelain dolls, or sepia photographs. Whatever you collect, you collect it because it interests you. And yours is the kind of mind that finds so many things interesting. The world is exciting precisely because of its infinite variety and complexity. If you read a great deal, it is not necessarily to refine your theories but, rather, to add more information to your archives. If you like to travel, it is because each new location offers novel artifacts and facts. These can be acquired and then stored away. Why are they worth storing? At the time of storing it is often hard to say exactly when or why you might need them, but who knows when they might become useful? With all those possible uses in mind, you really don’t feel comfortable throwing anything away. So you keep acquiring and compiling and filing stuff away. It’s interesting. It keeps your mind fresh. And perhaps one day some of it will prove valuable.

What makes me stand out?

By nature, you combine your fascination for reading with your ability to figure out what sets individuals apart from everyone else. You are likely to discover things that interest someone. Then you read more about those topics. You aim to collect insights that can inspire the person to take advantage of his or her one-of-a-kind talents, knowledge, and/or skills. Because of your strengths, you might expect to be kept in the information loop. Sometimes you want to know everything that is happening. You may desire to be kept abreast of any changes, even those that do not directly affect you. This partially explains why you can become upset or frustrated when someone accidentally or intentionally fails to pass along news about certain projects, deadlines, discoveries, problems, or successes. Driven by your talents, you sometimes move in and out of thought-provoking conversations with grace. You might delve into certain topics and explore the frontiers of particular ideas. Perhaps the animated give-and-take you enjoy occurs when you are in the company of specific individuals. You might be a bit happier if you were to meet people who share your need to talk about theories and concepts rather than be concerned with gossip or practical matters. Instinctively, you occasionally ask questions and intently listen to the answers of certain people. This behavior might surface when you meet a stranger or newcomer. Occasionally you eavesdrop on what they are telling someone else. Not wanting anyone to feel like an outsider, you try to draw individuals into the conversation. This partially explains why you search for a specific reason to involve them in a few of your own or the group’s activities. Chances are good that you periodically engage in conversations that might allow you to showcase some of your knowledge on a wide range of topics or in a  particular area of specialization.

Responsibility:

Shared Theme Description:

People who are especially talented in the Responsibility theme take psychological ownership of what they say they will do. They are committed to stable values as honesty and loyalty.

About me:

Your Responsibility theme forces you to take psychological ownership for anything you commit to, and whether large or small, you feel emotionally bound to follow it through to completion. Your good name depends on it. If for some reason you cannot deliver, you automatically start to look for ways to make it up to the other person. Apologies are not enough. Excuses and rationalizations are totally unacceptable. You will not quite be able to live with yourself until you have made restitution. This conscientiousness, this near obsession for doing things right, and your impeccable ethics, combine to create your reputation: utterly dependable. When assigning new responsibilities, people will look to you first because they know it will get done. When people come to you for help—and they soon will—you must be selective. Your willingness to volunteer may sometimes lead you to take on more than you should.

What makes me stand out?

Instinctively, you may be someone on whom others can depend. You might refrain from making promises you are not sure you can keep. Sometimes you feel obliged to honor commitments even if you are inconvenienced. This partially explains why you insist on doing things correctly, accurately, or properly. It’s very likely that you sometimes volunteer to do things rather than wait to be asked to assume more duties. Chances are good that you feel life is best when you are truthful about your talents, skills, education, successes, experiences, or background. You are determined to dispel illusions you have about yourself and others have about you. This is likely to be one of your top priorities. As long as you do not pretend to be someone you are not, you are a happier and healthier human being. By nature, you may wish to have a broader range of control and accountability on the job or in your personal life. Because of your strengths, you are quite comfortable being honest about yourself with others. You harbor very few illusions about who you really are. Furthermore, you can openly acknowledge your mistakes and shortcomings. This is apt to distinguish you from most people.

Copyrighted by reflectionsbypj 2009/09/28

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5 thoughts on “My Top 5 Talents

  1. I can see all of these strengths and/or talents in you! You are a one of kind woman who has many God given gifts and the amazing thing is you USE these gifts everyday that you possibly can, in one way or another! Once, again it was a pleasure reading your newest post!!

  2. Penny,
    Thank you for sharing yourself! Your sharing reminded me that a few years ago, more than a few, I too took this test. It made me return to the book that has been placed on my bookshelf, collecting dust, and peep in to remind me of them. I wanted to share my results with you too.

    Adaptability
    You live in the moment. You don’t see the future as a fixed destination. Instead, you see it as a place that you create out of the choices that you make right now. And so you discover your future one choice at a time. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have plans. You probably do. But this theme of Adaptability does enable you to respond willingly to the demands of the moment even if they pull you away from your plans. Unlike some, you don’t resent sudden requests or unforeseen detours. You expect them. They are inevitable. Indeed, on some level you actually look forward to them. You are, at heart, a very flexible person who can stay productive when the demands of work are pulling you in many different directions at once.

    Developer
    You see the potential in others. Very often, in fact, potential is all you see. In your view no individual is fully formed. On the contrary, each individual is a work in progress, alive with possibilities. And you are drawn toward people for this very reason. When you interact with others, your goal is to help them experience success. You look for ways to challenge them. You devise interesting experiences that can stretch them and help them grow. And all the while you are on the lookout for the signs of growth—a new behavior learned or modified, a slight improvement in a skill, a glimpse of excellence or of “flow” where previously there were only halting steps. For you these small increments—invisible to some—are clear signs of potential being realized. These signs of growth in others are your fuel. They bring you strength and satisfaction. Over time many will seek you out for help and encouragement because on some level they know that your helpfulness is both genuine and fulfilling to you.

    Includer
    “Stretch the circle wider.” This is the philosophy around which you orient your life. You want to include people and make them feel part of the group. In direct contrast to those who are drawn only to exclusive groups, you actively avoid those groups that exclude others. You want to expand the group so that as many people as possible can benefit from its support. You hate the sight of someone on the outside looking in. You want to draw them in so that they can feel the warmth of the group. You are an instinctively accepting person. Regardless of race or sex or nationality or personality or faith, you cast few judgments. Judgments can hurt a person’s feelings. Why do that if you don’t have to? Your accepting nature does not necessarily rest on a belief that each of us is different and that one should respect these differences. Rather, it rests on your conviction that fundamentally we are all the same. We are all equally important. Thus, no one should be ignored. Each of us should be included. It is the least we all deserve.

    Relator
    Relator describes your attitude toward your relationships. In simple terms, the Relator theme pulls you toward people you already know. You do not necessarily shy away from meeting new people—in fact, you may have other themes that cause you to enjoy the thrill of turning strangers into friends—but you do derive a great deal of pleasure and strength from being around your close friends. You are comfortable with intimacy. Once the initial connection has been made, you deliberately encourage a deepening of the relationship. You want to understand their feelings, their goals, their fears, and their dreams; and you want them to understand yours. You know that this kind of closeness implies a certain amount of risk—you might be taken advantage of—but you are willing to accept that risk. For you a relationship has value only if it is genuine. And the only way to know that is to entrust yourself to the other person. The more you share with each other, the more you risk together. The more you risk together, the more each of you proves your caring is genuine. These are your steps toward real friendship, and you take them willingly.

    Achiever
    Your Achiever theme helps explain your drive. Achiever describes a constant need for achievement. You feel as if every day starts at zero. By the end of the day you must achieve something tangible in order to feel good about yourself. And by “every day” you mean every single day—workdays, weekends, vacations. No matter how much you may feel you deserve a day of rest, if the day passes without some form of achievement, no matter how small, you will feel dissatisfied. You have an internal fire burning inside you. It pushes you to do more, to achieve more. After each accomplishment is reached, the fire dwindles for a moment, but very soon it rekindles itself, forcing you toward the next accomplishment. Your relentless need for achievement might not be logical. It might not even be focused. But it will always be with you. As an Achiever you must learn to live with this whisper of discontent. It does have its benefits. It brings you the energy you need to work long hours without burning out. It is the jolt you can always count on to get you started on new tasks, new challenges. It is the power supply that causes you to set the pace and define the levels of productivity for your work group. It is the theme that keeps you moving.

    Penny — Your results, mine and others that may have taken this test can help us find some direction if we take advantage of the knowledge.

    Again, thank you for sharing.

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