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.


Thanks for reading UnPsychology!

Do you feel like you are not living your life’s purpose? Know that you have a lot more to offer and want to make a real difference in your life as well as the lives of others.. but just have not yet figured out HOW?

Enter your email address below and I will personally send you a FREE copy of my 12 Questions to kickstart your internal purposefinder right away.

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Got ‘laid off’? How this can be a FANTASTIC time

One week everything is normal at work, and the next week you get the grave news that your company is cutting a few jobs and you happen to be one of the unfortunate ones. Perhaps you saw it coming, or maybe you were completely blindsided.

Either way, a lay-off is an EXCELLENT time to really achieve things you simply did not have time for when you were working full-time. Let us assume you have been responsible with your finances and regularly put a chunk of your income away for a ‘rainy day’. Instead of wallowing in misery and throwing yourself into panicked job-search frenzy, consider taking this time for the following areas in your life:

  1. Travel. This is my number one suggestion for anyone who gets laid off. Travelling is something everyone wants to do, but work commitments seem to be one of the first things that get in the way for professionals. But a lay-off is the PERFECT time to lets say, go explore Bali and spend a couple of weeks living your travel dream. Or how about visiting a family member who lives in Australia? Just find a good cheap flight, and GO!
  2. Bucket list items. This goes hand in hand with point 1. Always wanted to hike the Machu Pichu? Though about spending a week holed up in a cabin to work on that novel? Now is the time.
  3. Pursue your passions. Did you come home every evening after work, looking forward to working on your hobby, and wished you had more time? Well, now you do. Whether it is training for a triathlon, writing that book, or working on your bicycle, you can now give it your 100%.
  4. Time for family. If you were a hard working professional, your family probably did not see much of you. Take this opportunity to spend time with them and really connect with every family member. They will truly appreciate it. You will be glad you got to do when you had the chance.
  5. Re-assess. Step back and re-assess your career, industry and if that is truly where you belong. Maybe you want to change industries completely, or maybe you are happy where you are and you want to pursue some courses to further your credentials. Take this time to do it.
  6. Launch your own business. Finally, if you wanted to venture out into entrepreneurship or freelancing, there has never been a better time. You have absolutely nothing to lose pursuing something independent at a time such as this.

So make good use of your time now, before launching yourself back into the job-hunt. Because as they say.. don’t forget to make a memorable life, as you are busy trying to make a living.

Thanks for reading UnPsychology!

Do you feel like you are not living your life’s purpose? Know that you have a lot more to offer and want to make a real difference in your life as well as the lives of others.. but just have not yet figured out HOW?

Enter your email address below and I will personally send you a FREE copy of my 12 Questions to kickstart your internal purposefinder right away.

While you’re at it, feel free to check out some of my other posts on Unpsychology.

6 tell-tale signs that it might be time to quit

Have you ever been in a job where you felt that your energy was being drained? We have all had a job or two where we felt undervalued and overworked, but when do you know that your current career path is simply NOT the one you should be on? Maybe it is time to call it QUITS. Your life and your talents are too valuable to be wasted on doing something you are not passionate about.

If you are even slightly doubting your current job / career path, the signs below are worth considering seriously:

  1. Your passion is gone. Your friends and loved ones would be concerned for you if they saw you in this state. The fire in your eye, the spring in your step is gone as soon as you enter your workplace.


  1. Your work suffers. Your lack of passion has started to negatively affect your work and it shows. You find no value, have no interest, and certainly no desire in producing the work you have been hired to do. You spend hours looking at your to-do list and get nothing accomplished. Don’t mistake that for being lazy – you are unmotivated because you have stopped feeling inspired and passionate.


  1. You KNOW there is more out there. You are overwhelmed with the feeling that there is way more to life than this. You know your heart and your calling lies elsewhere, and can almost feel an invisible pull. You cannot bear spending another moment doing something you don’t love because you know WHERE you want to be. And it is not here.


  1. You stop socializing at work. Those coworkers you used to go for coffee runs with, those friends you used to go grab lunch with, you barely want to speak to them anymore. You just want to be done with your day so you don’t have to have anything to do with this part of your life anymore.


  1. You feel physically sick. The night before the start of another workweek is the worst. You physically dread going to bed, and waking up the next morning because you know what awaits. This is an important sign that it is time to quit. No job or amount of money is worth feeling physically and mentally sick for.


  1. There is no one at your workplace whose position you want to take over. A few years ago you would have gunned for his position at the company. You were the uber-ambitious newcomer looking to climb the ladders and move up the ranks. But now, you look at your senior executives at work and can hardly point out one person whose job you want to take over. You just know this company, this industry, is not one you want to be in. So why stay?


If you have identified with these signs, maybe it is time to take a step back and re-assess. Maybe it is time to take the big bad step and call it quits. Life is all too short to be spending doing something less than what you are passionate about.

But be careful. Although these signs can say a lot about the way you feel about your work, there are a LOT of other factors at play. It might be a tad bit fool-hardy to jump the gun before exploring the root of your issues. An in-depth consultation with a coach will be your best way of determining whether there are other factors in your life contributing to these feelings, and if they can be resolved first, before you pull the trigger and call it quits.