You should be reading these books

Some self-development books I highly recommend:

 

StrengthsFinder 2.0: By the New York Times Bestselling Author of Wellbeing
One of my favourite books. It helps you find your five strongest talents (what you were born with), and then suggests ways to hone your talent and make it into a highly coveted skill.


 

The Desire Map – Danielle LaPorte
This book outlines the Desire Map process. In short, it doesn’t matter what you want in life. What matters is how you are going to feel when you get there. Identify your core desired feelings, and all decision-making will be easy and clear after that.


 

The 48 Laws of Power
Robert Greene breaks down the ‘game’ being played around you every day with these 48 cunning ‘rules’ that almost feel ruthless. Excellent read!


 

The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness
Excellence is not an act, but a habit. Jeff Olsen explains how to become successful, you will have to regularly practice excellence and chip away at it every day.


 

The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything
Stephen Covey explains why trust is so critical in organizations nowadays. If you are trying to build your own business or create a reputation, trust is one thing you must master.


 

The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future
Chris Guillebeau writes about how it is possible to start a money with little to no capital, and entertains the reader with various case studies that prove this.


 

Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message
 Tara Mohr asks women to stop playing small in their life and in their workplaces. She devises a methodology for women to put their inner critic away and play BIG.


 

Do Cool Sh*t: Quit Your Day Job, Start Your Own Business, And Live Happily Ever After
Miki Agrawal is a serial social entrepreneur who went against her family’s well-meaning expectations and launched a series of startups including restaurants, women’s products, etc. She tells you how she did so you can do it too.


 

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How to use Clifton’s Strengthsfinder 2.0 to propel yourself to success

The Strengthsfinder 2.0 is a widely popular book based on the research done by Gallup scientists. They came up with 34 intrinsic talents that is most common in human beings, and developed a test that helps uncover your top 5 talents at play. The premise of the book is that, it is a much more effective use of your time and efforts if you choose to work on bettering your already established talents, rather than working on improving your weaknesses. In other words, take something good and make it GREAT, instead of taking something lacking and bringing it up to mediocre.

Once you take the test that comes with the book, it will give you your top 5 traits. These are the talents you already possess, which are intrinsic qualities about you, the way you behave, the way you think, and the way you see the world. 5 of your top qualities which may or may not be apparent to you on the surface. Now, in my humble opinion, the Strengthsfinder test and its explanation is one of the best on the market. It does not give you superficial answers/qualities and a lengthy explanation of it and leave it at that. This book takes it one step further.

Let me give an example. One of my talents that they revealed was ‘Individualization’. What it meant was that I had an innate ability to see every person as unique human beings with their own differences. I am able to recognise the individual strengths in people and bring them out. While this is all very true and resonates with exactly how I deal with people, I kept reading and saw that Gallup actually had ‘Ideas for Action’. These ‘Ideas for Action’ gave me clues as to what types of vocation I would excel at, and what types of projects I should take on that puts my talents (in this case Individualization), front and centre. Things like people management would be something I would excel at, because I can see my team members as individuals with their specific strengths, and I would thus be able to put them all to work in the area where they will perform their absolute best. I would be able to communicate with people from all backgrounds with ease because I would be much more sensitive to cultural and other biases since I will not view all people as the same. Other areas such coaching, organizing networking events, etc would be a great fit for me. Gallup posed questions that made me stop and reflect on how I could really put my Individualization traits to use, so I could help those around me in their lives and in turn they could see me as an authority.

Now this is just an example I used out of my own five talents. You can look through your own results after taking the test and go through the same process of reflection and self-improvement.

See, there are a lot of such self-discovery ‘quizzes’ out there, but several of them have very simplistic results and elementary levels of explanations. The fact that Gallup has a team of scientists developing this system, shows. The book does not explicitly tell us ‘what to do with our lives’, but rather does something more powerful: it reveals to us what our innate talents are on a deep psychological level, and gives us ideas for action that will help us put these talents front and centre. The idea is to make a regular habit of putting our innate talents to use (instead of working to improve on our weaknesses regularly), so we can show the world our unique strengths and establish ourselves as an authority. Now, what field you want to establish yourself as an authority in, is up to you. But for maximum success and fulfillment, it should be a product of your vision for yourself and your innate talents.

Did you read the book and take the test? Shoutout below and tell me about your 5 talents and how you have been using your time to turn them into strengths.


 

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