Go Put Your Strengths to Work by Marcus Buckingham is another useful resource for optimizing your strengths and building a life that energizes you.
Buckingham redefines what a strength is and what a weakness is, and it has nothing to do with what you’re good or bad at. Instead, it has everything to do with what gives you energy and what drains you. There are exercises embedded throughout the book to really help you identify those tasks and activities that can be called your strengths and weaknesses.
My favorite activity was to write out my favorite versus least favorite tasks for the week on green and red cards. The way that he frames and asks the question really gets to the heart of the issue… What do you do that makes you so engaged that you lose track of time? And what do you procrastinate at doing? (The hard copy comes with prompt cards at the end of the book that you can tear out and write on).
After you’ve established your strengths and weaknesses, the book provides strategies for how to maximize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. There are stories of people who have implemented these strategies effectively, as well as templates for action plans for applying to your own life.
I can’t say that I’ve been able to execute and implement everything that I’ve learned yet, but I’m definitely focusing more on my real strengths (the things that excite and energize me), rather than my perceived strengths (the things that I’m good at, but dread).