In his book, Authentic Happiness, Dr. Martin Seligman, Chairman of the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center, talks about a strategy for creating a happy life. Based on Aristotle’s philosophy of what constitutes “the good life,” Seligman suggests that happiness requires knowing your “signature strengths” and using them as often as possible.
Signature strengths…what a great phrase! You could call them your unique assets, natural gifts or skills sharpened through experience.
What are yours? A simple way to find out is to look closely at your greatest achievements. These successes are a goldmine of information about every individual’s power and potential.
Study your successes
Take some time now to remember your greatest achievements from the past 12 months (a significant project you completed, a challenging sale you closed, a successful product/service you launched, a new team you built or strengthened, a new relationship you established, or a rocky relationship you put on firmer footing).
Choose one, and zero-in on it:
What is the story behind this success? What steps did you take? Was anything new or different about your approach this time?
Who else was involved? What support or information did they provide?
How did you know you were successful? What positive outcome did you achieve?
What does this success tell you about the circumstances (relationships, job qualities, working atmosphere, job content, type of challenge) under which you do your best work?
Taken together, what does all this say about the signature strengths you bring to your job, team and/or business? What are you really great at? How can you put yourself in similar circumstances in the future to create more success for yourself and your business?