What’s WRONG with them?

A growing body of research claims that people find success at any age, and it most happens when they follow their own passions, capitalize on their strengths, and find a place in the employment world that allows us to merge those two components.

“It’s never too late to be who you might have been.” Said George Elliot.

And yet we hear self-limiting talk from Family Self-Sufficiency Participants every day.  Sometimes twice a day.

But do we feed into these negative beliefs?

Well, let’s think: I personally have a co-worker (you know how you are!) who is extremely disorganized.  Her desk looks like a hurricane blew through.  Come to think of it, I know several residents with this same flaw.

But if I subscribe to the idea that negative beliefs we hold about ourselves and each other can inhibit individual growth, maybe I should monitor my thoughts.  David Rendall claims that for every weakness, there is a corresponding strength.  You can get a free chart at his site that lists them all.

If I subscribe to this theory, my residents and co-workers aren’t disorganized; they are creative individuals who can adjust on a dime. After all, even Einstein had a messy desk, I’ve been told.  Furthermore, he once said, “If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, what is an empty desk a sign of?”

Take a few moments to listen to the ways staff and residents describe themselves or each other. Do we approach things from the deficit model of from the abundance model?    Instead noting an individual’s weaknesses, maybe we should help them find the uniqueness in their personalities and help them move into situations that make good use of their strengths.

The world is full of people who learned to take a condition like dyslexia and find a strength hidden within.  JetBlue Founder David Neeleman, Kinko’s founder Paul Orflea, and Virgin founder Richard Branson are just a few. And it does not stop with dyslexia. For every so-called weakness, you can find someone who elected not to try to overcome their own particular difficulty, but instead decided how to use it to grow and thrive.

I, for one, am open to ideas on how to help FSS participants learn this technique. It seems as if we’d be more efficient, they’d be more self-driven, and everybody would win.