The following strengths were identified as my top 5 strengths by StrengthsQuest.
Adaptability: how I read this is that I am willing to make changes and the subsequent adaptations those changes require. I may even look forward to this. I think more than anything it appeals to my restless nature of wanting to seek more, develop more, learn more. In wanting that, adaptation must occur. But this does not mean I am finely tuned in my adaptability.
To further develop my adaptability, I plan to seek new experiences that challenge me to be thrust into a new environment–that could be geographically, culturally, or organizationally different. To be truly adaptable, one must have a myriad of experiences. I desire this.
Ideation: StrengthsQuest really got me here. I am fascinated, borderline obsessed, with ideas. Those ideas could be from articles I read, news stories I hear, conversations I have, or mind-wanderings I take while walking the streets of Corvallis or Brooklyn. The thing that makes this strength a weakness is how it can be all-consuming, stopping me from attaining the recommended hours of sleep or giving me a place to go when I lose interest in the task at hand. I do not wish to quash this strength, though, so I know there are some things to do to build it as a strength without letting it dictate my attention.
To personally develop my ideation, I know I will need to be better about documenting these thoughts and ideas I have. It is frustrating when I hear something that provokes ideas and I cannot recall it later. A simple pen and pad of paper in my bag could alleviate this frustration.
Input: I understand this strength as being endless curiosity. An inquisitive nature about most things. StrengthsQuest, do you track my online activity? I consider myself a bit of a Wikipedia victim, as I can spiral from one minor question into a three hour session of investigating to more thoroughly know a subject, all because of that power of association and suggestion so inherent in Wikipedia pages. My inquisitive nature undoubtedly informed my eleventh grade Spanish teacher’s prediction that I would forever be a student.
To develop my strength, I plan on continuing my education. I will fill the need to know more by learning more; part of my desire to work in higher education is the access to continuing education. I plan on being a lifelong learner.
Futuristic: I understand this strength as having a positive view of the possibilities the future holds. While thinking about the future can be daunting, intimidating, even paralyzing, there’s a part of me that says, “But think of what’s possible!”
To develop this strength, I need to take my curiosity with the future and develop plans for the future. I think it’s easy to become overwhelmed by possibilities, but having a plan of action or things to accomplish empowers me to meet the future with open arms.
Individualization: This really explains my communication style. I value deep connections with people on an individual level. I like working with groups, but I know the reason I can work effectively with a group of people is because I know them each as individuals. I veer away from generalizing people based on their affiliations with identity groups, as I know that identity groups often serve as community-builders but are not the definition of a person.
To develop this strength, I plan on continuing authentic conversations with people and connecting my contacts with each other. It is liberating when I introduce a friend to another friend of mine and they fall into friendship stride quickly. I believe this will be a major part of my personal and professional development–initiating and maintaining these individual relationships.
After examining each of these strengths, I believe they all point to my boundless curiosity. I know that we have this time on earth, that there is no promise beyond today, and that I want to learn as much about the world and people around me as possible. I want to hear your stories.