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Why Focusing on Your Strengths is the Best Philosophy

Why Focusing on Your Strengths is the Best Philosophy

    “Do whatever you do intensely” – Robert Henri

    Are you achieving the results you want from everything you do?

    If not, maybe it’s time to ask yourself the following questions:

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    • Are you focusing on the right things?
    • Is your energy and focus divided? Do you know what your strengths are?

    One of the many lessons I have learnt over the years is that focusing on too many things at once will not enable you to achieve your best results. But even more important than that is to ensure that your focus is on what you do best, this is when you will do your best work and get your best results.

    Positive Psychology

    Martin Seligman, the father of Positive Psychology says that for a person to be truly happy and live a meaningful life, that person must recognize their personal strengths and use these strengths for the greater good. If we are to take Seligman’s advice, we should spend time trying to figure out our personal strengths and not waste our valuable time and life doing jobs that don’t please us and take us away from doing what we were made to do. If this is the secret of happiness, shouldn’t we all be focusing on our strengths and not wasting time with all the other bits?

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    Pareto Principle

    The Pareto Principle shows how filtering what you focus on can help towards more success. The Pareto Principle or the 80/20 rule is widely recognized as a principle which holds true in many facets of life. Sales executives use it to identify their important customers. They know that 20% of their customers give them 80% of their revenue and that 20% of their products will also give them 80% of the revenue. The clever know that once they identify that 20% they should focus their attention on that 20%. In this way results will be achieved more quickly and effectively.

    If you focus most of your energy and attention on the important customers, this well reap rewards for your bank balance. Your good customers will become great customers. If you apply this principle to your whole life, if you were to focus solely on what you do best just imagine the results. If you were to stop doing the work that doesn’t add value, the work that someone else could do for you. By directly all your energy on your strengths, this will surely get your the results you aim for more quickly.

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    Happiness is the New Productivity

    Vishen Lakhiani, CEO of MindValley, says that “happiness is the new productivity”. Being in a state of flow or extreme creativity will magnify the impact of everything you do. You must have goals, but your happiness must not be tied to these goals. You must be happy in the now. You will never reach your highest success if you are not happy what you are doing. Do what makes you happy and your will create a state of flow which will bring to you everlasting success.

    So if you don’t already know, spend some time figuring out what your strengths are, what activity induces flow for you? When you know what activity it is, focus on it and do it to the best of your ability. Make sure you “only do what only you can do”, focus on your 20%, and let others do the 80% of the work that you don’t need to do. By doing this not only will you be more efficient, creative, and productive — you will be happier and more successful.

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    (Photo credit: Child Showing Off Muscle via Shutterstock)

      More by this author

      Ciara Conlon

      Productivity coach, speaker, blogger and author of Chaos to Control, a Practical Guide to Getting Things Done

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      Last Updated on July 10, 2019

      30 Best Procrastination Quotes to Get You Back to Work

      30 Best Procrastination Quotes to Get You Back to Work

      What do your 3pm fridge raid and perfectly alphabetised bookshelf have in common?

      You most likely did both of them when you should have been doing work.

      Procrastination is one of the most human behaviours. We’re all guilty of putting off what we know is important from time to time, and it seems the more pressing the task at hand, the better we are at avoiding it.

      Sure, it means that every time we have an important deadline we end up with a spotlessly clean house and a completely empty inbox, but the real work gets left until the very last minute and is finished in a frenzy of stress and caffeine.

      But we can gain control over procrastination by noticing it as soon as possible and stopping it in its tracks. On the contrary, you know you have a bad habit when you’re aware you’re putting something off, and you continue avoiding it anyway.

      To start you off with combating procrastination, here are a few quotes to get you in a motivated frame of mind, because if procrastination has any enemies, it’s motivation to work harder.

      A Few Home Truths

        “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.”
        ― Mark Twain


        “It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.”
        ― Leonardo da Vinci


        “Someday is not a day of the week.”
        ― Janet Dailey


        “Success is not obtained overnight. It comes in instalments; you get a little bit today, a little bit tomorrow until the whole package is given out. The day you procrastinate, you lose that day’s success.”
        ― Israelmore Ayivor


        “The man who waits to know everything is the man who never does anything.”
        ― Craig D. Lounsbrough


        “Procrastination is like going to a fancy restaurant and filling up on bread and not leaving enough room for dinner.”
        ― Richie Norton, The Power of Starting Something Stupid: How to Crush Fear, Make Dreams Happen, and Live without Regret


        “Procrastination is the lazy cousin of fear. When we feel anxiety around an activity, we postpone it.”
        ― Noelle Hancock, My Year with Eleanor


        “Doing things at the last minute reminds us of the importance of doing things at the first minute.”
        ― Matshona Dhliwayo


        “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”
        ― Abraham Lincoln


        “A day can really slip by when you’re deliberately avoiding what you’re supposed to do.”
        ― Bill Watterson, There’s Treasure Everywhere


        “By what right do I, who have wasted this day, make claims on tomorrow?”
        ― Alain-Fournier, Le Grand Meaulnes


        “If you want to get ahead in life, I’ve found that perhaps the most useless word in the world is “tomorrow.”
        ― José N. Harris


        Some Practical Advice

          “If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.”
          ― Hilary Mantel


          “Thinking too much leads to paralysis by analysis. It’s important to think things through, but many use thinking as a means of avoiding action.”
          ― Robert Herjavec, The Will To Win: Leading, Competing, Succeeding


          “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone”
          ― Pablo Picasso


          “It is only by working the rituals, that any significant degree of understanding can develop. If you wait until you are positive you understand all aspects of the ceremony before beginning to work, you will never begin to work.”
          ― Lon Milo DuQuette, The Magick of Aleister Crowley: A Handbook of the Rituals of Thelema


          “Do first what you don’t want to do most.”
          ― Clifford Cohen


          “How often do you find yourself saying, “In a minute”, “I’ll get to it” or “Tomorrow’s good enough” and every other possible excuse in the book? Compare it with how often you decide it’s got to be done, so let’s get on and do it! That should tell you just how serious your procrastinating problem really is.”
          ― Stephen Richards, The Secret of Getting Started: Strategies to Triumph over Procrastination


          “How to stop procrastinating starts with believing you can overcome procrastination.”
          ― Robert Moment, How to Stop Procrastinating


          “Never put things off…you will wake up and find them gone.”
          ― James Jones


          Some Tough Love

            “Do something instead of killing time. Because time is killing you.”
            ― Paulo Coelho, Aleph


            “If you take too long in deciding what to do with your life, you’ll find you’ve done it.”
            ― George Bernard Shaw


            “If you want to get ahead in life, I’ve found that perhaps the most useless word in the world is “tomorrow.”
            ― José N. Harris


            “What is deferred is not avoided.”
            ― Thomas More


            “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work”
            ― Chuck Close


            “If you always do what is easy and choose the path of least resistance, you never step outside your comfort zone. Great things don’t come from comfort zones.”
            ― Roy Bennett


            “Your ideas have legs and just as they run through your head, they could be running through someone else’s head and it’s just a matter of who gets to the finish line first. Nothing is new under the sun so act on your ideas.”― Sanjo Jendayi


            “You may not be punished for your procrastination, but for sure you will be punished by your procrastination.”
            ― Debasish Mridha


            When You Need Pulling out of Procrastination

              “Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day. Rich people can’t buy more hours. Scientists can’t invent new minutes. And you can’t save time to spend it on another day. Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow.”
              ― Denis Waitley


              “A year from now you may wish you had started today.”
              ― Karen Lamb


              Print these quotes out, stick them on the wall in front of your desk – do whatever it takes to remember why you shouldn’t be putting your work off, or getting distracted by a desire to rearrange your socks into colour order.

              It won’t be easy, but being aware of how detrimental procrastination is to your longer-term goals is the first step towards overcoming it.

              More Motivational Quotes

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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