A 2012 Gallup Poll showed that as many as 21% of Americans use their strengths to do what they do best for less than 3 hours per day. That may indicate that many of us are just working too hard to achieve our goals, spending time trying to fix our deficits instead of leveraging our strengths. The Gallup Poll also showed that the more hours per day adults believe they use their strengths, the more likely they are to report having ample energy, feeling well-rested, and being happy.
There are several ways to try to discover your natural strengths. Ask a friend what they see as your strengths, or just pay attention to what personality characteristics you are using when things are going particularly well in your life or when you have managed to solve a challenging problem. Another way is to take a “strengths inventory.” This is a kind of questionnaire that will ask you about many kinds of human strengths, and how often you employ them in your daily life. A strengths inventory will often ask about such traits as humor, playfulness, creativity, curiosity, courage, perseverance, honesty, enthusiasm, kindness, or gratitude. A quick search of the internet will bring you to most of the popular (and free) strengths inventories available.
Strengths cost you nothing. They come naturally to you. Maybe you were just born naturally curious about the world or compassionate toward others or maybe you have strengths that have developed over time. Once you have identified some of your key strengths, find a way to use them in a conscious way to help you on your way toward being tobacco-free.
· Do you have a great sense of humor? Use it to keep a healthy perspective.
· Are you an optimist? Apply it in this situation to expect success!
· Are you in touch with your spiritual side? Don’t forget to tap into your higher power.
· Do you have a strong sense of perseverance? Think of all the other things you have accomplished in your life! Persistence is omnipotent.
Take a moment to find out more about your natural strengths and see if you can find some new ways to apply them.