Each of us is something of a schizophrenic personality, tragically divided against ourselves. ~Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love, 1963
Women are wonderful and peculiar creatures. Despite unprecedented opportunities in all spheres of daily living, women are becoming increasingly unhappy, less satisfied, and less fulfilled in their lives. We got lost on the path to “having it all” when we believed that the only way to do so was to be perfectly balanced and accomplished in all areas: wife, mother, career, civic, and social. Because of this distorted belief, women have experienced unnecessary feelings of failure, self-doubt, and shame. When presented with an assessment of strengths and weaknesses, most women will immediately look to remediate their weakness instead of looking to use their strengths to their advantage. While this approach may be the proper path to becoming “balanced”, it is unlikely to lead to happiness or contentment. The answer might be found in becoming strategically unbalanced; that is, by shifting our lives more heavily to our areas of strength.
In his book, Find Your Strongest Life, Mr. Buckingham provides a different model for “having it all” (defined as “drawing enough strength from life to feel fulfilled, loved, successful, and in control) then provides a set of different “Strength” based tactics to accomplish this. He utilizes an online strength assessment to help determine “the role you were born to play.” (www.stronglifetest.com) Overall, this book is very accessible, addresses numerous real-life situations faced by today’s women, and provides workable solutions and suggestions for all. The shift in focus from “Balance” to “Fullness” by focusing on “capturing moments that bring strength” feels both intuitive and empowering. This book will be beneficial for all women who are stuck in the search for “elusive perfection” amid the bounty of choices available to us.
What areas of your life make you feel strong? What could you do to capitalize more fully on your strengths?