Vail Daily column: Playing to our strengths |

Vail Daily column: Playing to our strengths

Have you ever found yourself trying to become something or change who you really are just to please someone else, living up to their expectations and not your own? Attaching your sail to their boat instead of your own?

There is a difference between wanting to change or grow when it is driven by our own desires and passions to do so, instead of being forced or asked to become something or someone we are simply not meant to be by another person or company.

We all have gifts, talents and strengths that we can share with the world. Some people are completely aware of their natural strengths, while others are still trying to discover, identify and leverage their gifts and talents.

When we find ourselves struggling with achieving success, we can usually trace it back to the fact that we are playing to our weaknesses instead of to our strengths.

So many of us have sacrificed or settled for roles in life that leave us feeling unhappy and unfulfilled. There are times when we feel like the path we are on is more like pushing a square peg into a round hole. The best way to avoid this trap is to change our mindset. And the first step to doing this is to take a personal inventory of our strengths and passions. We may not see our own gifts, but others close to us do and can help clarify or point out where they believe we shine.

Once we identify where it is we are strongest, really get our head and heart around our potential, we should create visibility for others so they can also see our capabilities and where we can add the most value in our own lives as well in the lives of others.

When this happens we can begin to live life in such a way that we will find ourselves “doing what we love, and loving what we do.” Discovering, acknowledging, and applying our passions and strengths is a game changer, so give yourself an opportunity and be open to a little self-awareness.

There are a couple of books that you may want to check out to help you in your pursuit to uncover your strengths. The first is “Strength Finders,” by Tom Rath, and the second is “How Full is Your Bucket?” by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton. These are terrific books and I hope you will enjoy them.

I would love to hear all about how you plan on playing to your strengths and not your weaknesses at And I am convinced that when you do find your strengths, you will have a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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