Focusing on your strengths

I may have written about this topic before, but I was reminded recently about StrengthsFinder 2.0 and decided to take a look back at my results.

My top 5 themes (strengths) according to the test are:

  • Deliberative – best described by the serious care they take in making decisions or choices.
  • Ideation – fascinated by ideas…able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.
  • Adaptability – prefer to “go with the flow.”
  • Empathy – can sense the feelings of other people by imagining themselves in others’ lives or others’ situations.
  • Intellection – introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions.

It’s helpful every once in awhile to go back and remind myself of these things and read the descriptions. There is also actionable advice about how to handle certain situations in work and general life, which is also useful.

Some highlights for my future self:

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Figuring out what stories are worth telling

With less than two weeks until WordCamp Lancaster, I was hoping to have my presentation mostly done this past weekend. However, because I had a few other projects to work on, I’m not as far along as I’d hoped.

One of the most difficult things for me to decide is what stories to tell. The technical parts of a talk are easy, but there are dozens of stories to choose from. What makes it harder for me is not knowing which ones will have the most impact, and be the most relevant to my topic.

For this talk, I’ll be sharing a few stories about my struggles and failures over the last few years while doing freelance web development. My hope is that people will learn from my mistakes, and I think it helps people feel encouraged to know when other people are having a difficult time. While there is a lot to learn from failure, sometimes it’s just comforting to feel like you’re not the only one.

At this point, I do have a general outline and a few ideas for specific stories which just need to be fleshed out with more detail. I should have my slides done this weekend, so I can begin practicing and be ready for March 4th.

Will I see you there?

What Is My Motivation?

I’ve been asking myself this question for most of my adult life. As a child, I was innately motivated by competition. In everything I did, I had to be the best, whether I was competing against someone else of just myself. Naturally, this led me into the world of sports, where I focused a lot of my attention and energy through my teenage years.

When I gave up playing sports competitively, it left a noticeable void in my life. I lacked a clear vision for what would motivate me to succeed in the future. Without that pressure to keep me disciplined to work hard toward a goal, I stumbled through various college programs until I gave up trying to find a meaningful purpose for my life.

Instead, I settled for a job I could do and turned my attention to my new family, a wife and growing number of children (which currently stands at four). But after nearly nine years at a job I didn’t particularly like (but also wasn’t sure I could ever leave), I finally restarted the journey of pursuing something better.

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My Secret to Daily Writing

Hey look, my first click-baity title (at least intentional). This was more of an experiment than anything, so it will be fun to see if this post gets more views than average over the next few months.

So really, this is my secret (or was, now that I’m sharing it…) for writing every day.

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Blogging Every Day for 15 Years

Just watched this video again and am thinking through the long term implications of dedication and consistency. Looking forward to the time when I can look back on similar milestones.