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Christian Living

Finance

When Are You at Your Best?

rock-climbing

Think back to a highpoint or an experience in your life in which you were at your best - whether in a relationship or at work, in your finances or health.  What conditions empowered you to be at your best?  What character strengths did you tap into?  What lessons could you take from the experience and apply to a challenge or opportunity you face now?

In the business world, this type of approach is used in a process called "appreciative inquiry," developed by author and researcher David Cooperrider.  But it is a process that can work wonders for us in our personal and professional lives. 

Consider for a moment a challenge you are having or a dilemma you'd like to resolve.  Chances are, you could easily make a list of the weaknesses, mistakes and problems that led to the problem.  Often, when we are trying to fix a problem or improve a situation, we focus on all that is wrong in an effort to try to correct it.  This week, I'd like to challenge you to a different approach for creating what you want.  Rather than focusing on everything that is wrong in a situation, pinpoint the things that would lead to success.  Failure can indeed be a learning tool, but so is success.  Appreciation for the steps that have led to your best moments in life may give you the roadmap you need to get unstuck. 

Success doesn't happen by accident.  There are conditions, strengths and actions that empower your success and resilience.  I know that operating within my natural gifts and talents empowers me in my work.  Trying to accomplish goals that lie outside of my divine purpose drains my energy - so  seven years ago, I took a leap of faith to focus on building a career based on my strengths.  Perhaps in important conversations that you have, you may find that you are more effective when you take the time to think through what you need to say and even write it down.  If that's what empowers you, then do it.  Maybe you've noticed that you have been at your best in maintaining a healthy weight when you set short-term goals or work out with a partner.  If so, set yourself up for success by creating the conditions that empower success. 

There are sometimes areas in which we have not succeeded, but want to.  In those instances, pinpoint the root causes of success in people who are role models for you.  If you know the role model, ask them to share with you from a high point in their success.  If you don't know them, pinpoint the root causes based on what you and others know.

Learning and growth often happen through the failures and adversities of life.  But if you make a habit of also learning and appreciating the lessons of relationships that work, careers that soar, and lives that are meaningful, you empower yourself to overcome the inevitable obstacles to success.

My challenge to you this week:

Think back to an experience of success in your life in which you were at your best - whether in a relationship or at work, in your finances or health - and pinpoint the root causes of success in that instance.

Journaling assignment:

In a highpoint example of success, what conditions empowered you to be at your best?  What character strengths did you tap into?  What lessons could you take from the experience and apply to a challenge or opportunity you face now?

 

 

 

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