Adapt to ExperienceBuild on Your Strengths.

Build on Your Strengths

You can't be somebody you are not. You can't offer what you don't have.

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One of the key development principles of the last 40 years is called ABCD, which stands for Asset Based Community Development. The essential idea is that every community has assets, and the future of the community is in developing from that base. Most communities where development is an issue, claim that they lack resources. That's never true.

The same principles apply to your own life. When you understand that the community in which you live, the lifestyle choices of the people around you also affect your thinking, your behaviour, and your health, you can appreciate that achieving your own objectives isn't as easy as just making good personal choices.

A really good predictor of the quality of your diet, your smoking and drinking habits, your inclination to exercise, and how you spend your time or your money, are the personal friends you have, and the people you live and work with. You'll tend to be like them.

Question One: Who are you?

This seems to be the easiest of questions to answer. So easy it's hardly worth asking. But in fact we struggle to understand who we are. We are people with many possible alternative self's. This is complicated because we are continually changing to become someone new, in response to our interaction with other people, and the reality of living where you live. Other people provide a mirror in which you can see yourself.

The beginning of wisdom is the www Linkpersonal discovery of not knowing. Confusion may be a good start. Much of what we know about ourselves and the world we live in, is received wisdom, the common sense version contained in the education system and most of our institutions. This shared common understanding is why our society is what it is, both the good and the bad.

We confuse "who we are" with "What we are." Who you are, is based on values that run very deep and change only slowly. Who you are, is dominated by inner forces, by your intrinsic motives. What you are, is how you reinvent yourself for the purpose of the moment. What you are, is highly influenced by external forces, and changes what you are able to do.

Rule number one, is to be present, to be mindful and active in choosing what happens to you. Turn up. Be real. Take responsibility for the choices you make. The hundreds of small choices you make every day, are the best tool for getting the most out of your life. We learn slowly, and we change who we are becoming slowly.

Question Two: What are your assets?

Begin with what's close to you. Friends and family. The things you have learned. The skills you have and tools you have accumulated so you can do things. Domestic equipment, tools of trade, your computer and your ability to use it. Your hobbies and sporting interests.

If we think in business terms, who do you know who among your strong connections who has a business? Who do you buy from? Who do you turn to as trusted supplier? What do you know about these people? Is there something they need that you can offer them? Have you asked?

What do you bring to the community that you can offer, that you would enjoy doing?

What do you bring to your work that distinguishes you? Long and varied work experience, motivation, a strong work ethic, punctuality, dependability and low absenteeism?

Misinformation is the virus that stops you from making the best use of your life. Good information in context gives you the best chance of making good decisions.

The facts often tell us things we don't want to know. H.L. Mencken wrote; “It is in the nature of humans to reject what is true but unpleasant, and embrace that which is false but comforting.”

Question Three: How do you use those assets?

You are the only source of yourself. What can you best achieve with the assets you have. Do that, so you can flourish in your own life.

What do you want to do?

Can you create strategic alliances.


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