After reading (amongst others) this article about using your strengths to find your most suited path, I’ve spent quite some time reflecting on this issue.
The fact is, I’ve never made a choice based on my strengths. In fact, I’ve always been driven by the challenge. I’ve never taken the option which I thought was best suited for me, but I’ve always taken the most challenging option.
In high school, my favorite subjects were Latin and History. Classical studies or history would have been a logical choice of study for me, but I chose engineering because I thought it was going to be a though study, and I felt as if I needed to look for a challenge to open up my maximum potential.
Whenever I feel like I’ve reached the point at which I am comfortable at doing what I am doing, and I feel like I’m mastering the task or subject, I start feeling a bit restless. I feel the need to go one level up and challenge myself again.
Reading about building your life path based on your strengths sounds very logical to me, but I wonder if it doesn’t deprive us of some options. The freedom to learn from your mistakes, to play around and see if we can grow in a skill which initially does not seem to be our best fit.
I’ve come to think that not all of it is as contradictory as it would seem at first. I now think that knowing our strengths, cherishing and nourishing them is indeed something which will make us more confident and will let us live at our full potential. Within that frame, there is still room for improving ourselves through trial and error, as long as we keep our strengths and core values in mind. I’ve ended up realizing that one of my main strengths is my passion for challenges.