Playing to Strength

Jessie: Tucked up cozily inside in New Hampshire working away on another novel!

A few months ago I took an online class, Strengths for Writers which I enjoyed immensely. An important component of the class was the Gallup Strengths test. I found it to provide a great deal of food for thought. According to the test my top strengths include Input, Strategic, Learner, Intellection and Futuristic.

What it all boiled down to is that I love to gather information, think about how best to use it, dive deeply into some topics to achieve mastery, noodle on lots of things and to imagine and plan the future. None of this came as a surprise. I am unwaveringly curious, I love to learn new things and I am never without goals and plans for what could be next.

What was surprising was the pleasure I have found in finding ways to support those strengths on a daily basis. Since taking the class I’ve embarked on a morning routine that includes high quality input in the form of a curated reading list and a newspaper subscription. I’ve scheduled weekly planning and review sessions for my writing career and my personal life to please both my strategy and futuristic inclinations. I take long walks with my dog wearing my noise cancelling headphones in order to think without interruption. I bought an annual subscription to both SkillShare and Curiosity Stream for my enthusiastic learner.

I’ve even convinced myself to go ahead and prioritize making time for input and learning in a really deliberate way by gathering resources and materials. I put time on my calendar each day to learn the things I set out to like sketching, painting and meditating. I ordered an art supply catelogue, downloaded an app called Daily Art and asked for a Muse Band as a Christmas gift.

I am not sure that I have ever been happier or have felt stronger. I feel like I am swimming with the current instead of against it. With so much in the world that feels ill at ease, confined or constricted at present, it is a delight to simply flow along with what comes easily to me. I hope each of you are finding ways to celebrate your own strengths and best ways of being in the world! I am absolutely convinced that everyone benefits when we all are able to bring our strengths to the world around us!

Readers, is there something new you would like to learn? Writers, have you taken any of the Strengths classes with the Write Better Faster Academy or a writing class you would recommend?

21 Thoughts

  1. Before I was in the accident in the RV, I wanted to learn ballroom dancing. Of course I would have had to find a partner to dance with. I was a secretary for this finance group and one woman was a dance teacher on the side and she also competed on the weekends. I’ve always thought ballroom dancing was so glamorous. Latin would be fun too.

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  2. I love this! I subscribed to MasterClass early in the pandemic and enjoy it but lately, I haven’t given myself the time to take the classes. You’ve inspired me. I’m going to block off a bit of time each day to listen and learn. Thank you!

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  3. I like that you set time to do something you love. People often ask me how do I do what I do and it’s because I set a time to do certain tasks.

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  4. I’ve never taken a Strengths class. It sounds like something I should do, but where to find the time?

    But something I do want to get back to this summer is classes with Koda and my quest to get him certified as a therapy dog.

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  5. Brava, Jessie! On Jessie’s recommendation I also took the Strengths class including the Gallup test. I found my strengths as uncovered by the test to be dead on. Described me to a T and gave me some new ways to think about myself. I found the class and counseling sessions to be less helpful. For whatever reason in these situations I find people often throw up their hands and say they have no specific advice for me. I have no idea why this is, but it’s been consistent throughout my life. Like most people, I know what I need to do. It’s actually doing it that is the endless challenge.

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  6. I’ve never taken a class on my strengths (or weaknesses, for that matter), and at this point in my life, I’m just letting myself to be open to anything that comes my way. I love learning about anything! So, I make a point of seeking new experiences. Serendipity, here I come!

    I’m very impressed with your single-mindedness when it come to writing. You are so focused, it’s no wonder you are such a great writer.

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