Explaining Positive Psychology

The shoulder continues to be a problem, but I didn’t expect miraculous results since just two weeks ago. To keep that part of this blog post brief, I’ll simply share that I’m building up scar tissue faster than physical therapy is able to overcome it. it’s going to be a long, long road ahead.

But, to get back to a focus on strengths I was going to write up something to explain what the “positive psychology movement” is all about. I thought you might enjoy reading a little bit about how Don Clifton approached his research and how it was different than most psychological research. Then, I read an incredible article that explained it better than I ever could. So, at the risk of losing my readership, I’m going to point you to an outside article, again.

Check out this wonderfully written explanation of positive psychology by Tim Simon, a Learning and Development Consultant at Gallup:

The Little Lights are Not Twinkling

The Road Back

Well, this is certainly taking longer than I thought it would. I had read how recovery from rotator cuff surgery will take some time, but I think something is different about my journey. Of course, every person is unique and each person will follow a different healing path. Somehow, though, this isn’t exactly how I thought it would turn out.

I’m still struggling to get my arm moving. My physical therapist tells me that most patients are seeing a pretty decent range of motion in the repaired arm in about 3 months, or so. Well, as you’ll note by the date on this blog post, it’s been right at that and I’m here reporting that such is not my experience!

My pain levels are substantially higher, for a longer period of time, than most patients. My range of motion is significantly limited right from the average patient’s progress, and I must admit that discouragement sets in quite easily at times. It’s quite difficult to understand and the doctor hasn’t had any specific answers.

No one is giving up. I’m just frustrated right now.

Apologies for none of this being related to strengths, talents, and all that. I just knew it had been a while since I had chimed in here and I thought something was better than nothing. I’ll try to get back on topic in my next post.

Pardon the Interruption

Well, I thought I had used my learner, input, analytical, and intellection to understand what was going to happen to me a month ago when I underwent shoulder surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff. Boy, was I wrong!

As it turns out, I really didn’t have a clue!

It’s been a lot more intense than I could have ever imagined and I’ve experienced pain so intense I hope to never have to live through anything like this ever again!

But, to keep things moving and at least a little more on topic than I could possibly do it on my own right now, I’m going to point you to an excellent article written by one of the “Learning and Development Consultants” at Gallup, Austin Suellentrop. You’ll find it here:

Strengths and Values: A Testimony to the Importance of Talking Values with the Ones You Love

I’ll share more about my experience and get back to authoring blog posts on my own as soon as I am able.


A Brief Hiatus

Four of my top five talent themes have been in over drive lately. I’ve been intensely apply learner, input, analytical, and intellection to a situation that has come in my life that is now reached a point that it’s going to impact what I am doing here for a while. You see,I’ve been dealing with some significant pain for several months now and experiencing limited movement. The doc has been treating me through other means and finally chose to do an MRI to see what was going on. Hence, the discovery of the torn rotator cuff. Consequently, I’ve been spending quite a bit of time learning about the muscle group that makes up the rotator cuff, the way the shoulder moves and works (or at least how it’s supposed to), and what exactly is the best way to heal from injury. Like I said, I’ve been using my talents — learner, input, analytical, and intellection!

So, I beg your indulgence and forgiveness in advance. If you don’t hear from me for a little while it’s because I’m about to undergo shoulder surgery to get things repaired. Based on what I’ve learned and how I think it’s all going to affect me, I could be in too much pain, too focused on recovery, and too pre-occupied with just getting by at work and in life to spend much time here.

So, forgive me, if you will for a brief absence.


Five Signs of Talent

So, maybe you haven’t taken the CliftonStrengths assessment and you’re still wondering about your own talents. Or, maybe you have taken the assessment and you feel like one or two of your top five might not quite be right. Either way, you could be thinking about all this mumbo-jumbo sounding jargon about talents question whether or not you’ve got any.

Well, Don Clifton, the father of strengths psychology, wrote a book back in 1992 called, Soar With Your Strengths. In that book he helped point people to talent by point them to five clues that reveal talent. The first clue he wrote about is yearning. This is the gut feeling you have that draws you into activities you enjoy doing. These are often activities you choose to do when you don’t have to do anything else. Or, it would be those things you would choose to do if somebody came to you and magically cleared your calendar and just let you pick anything at all to do to feel fulfilled, productive, and enjoy your experience.

The second clue is satisfaction. This is the “feel fulfilled, productive” part of that last sentence I wrote. When we find ourselves engaged in activities that yield significant joy, and genuine fulfillment it’s likely we are deeply involved in doing something where we have talent. When you finish doing something and can hardly wait until you get to be able to do it again, then you are likely looking at one of your top talents.

Rapid learning is the third clue. Because talents are those naturally recurring patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior we can be fairly confident that when we readily learn something new in a specific area, no matter how complex or difficult, it’s highly probable that we’re in “the talent zone.” Sometimes we might even be involved in doing something that no one ever explained to us how to do it, but we did it right the first time anyway. That’s talent!

Whenever we notice high quality, or someone else catches a glimpse of excellence, in something we have done then we have just uncovered another clue to talent. Our ability to perform at a very high level, or frequently achieve outstanding results in a given activity, we can realize that talent has been discovered, uncovered, or revealed. We do things well when we are tapping into talent.

One last clue we can count on to help us reveal out talents is any time we realize that time flies by whenever we’re involved in doing something. We get so engrossed in our experience, and in our doing, that we simply forget to look at the clock. Time sails by and we hardly realize that any time at all has passed.

Of course, whenever a combination of two, or more, of those clues show up in our activities all at the same time then we know for sure we have hit on a talent that may likely be well on its way to becoming a strength!