July 6th, 2011 Archive

What’s Your Code?

July 6th, 2011 by Adaire in Lifestyle

I recently watched a rerun of Fast and Furious 4 on HBO. My favorite line in that movie was from O’Connor: “Nothing really matters unless you have a code”. This one line made me look at my life and how I am living it. Am I working towards having a code? Am I working towards something that I can proudly claim as my signature or something that I truly stand for? When people think of Adaire, do their impressions of me really align with who I really am?

In today’s marketplace, you really need to stand out if you want people to notice you. Competition is getting more intense everyday and there is absolutely no room for mediocrity. The trick to winning this competition is to build up on your personal strengths and use that to beat down your opponents. Now before you start asking “Adaire, what the heck does this have to do with having a personal code?” think about it this way: if you don’t know yourself and don’t have a personal code, how can you know what your strengths really are?

Each and every one of us is good at something, and what that something is differs from person to person. Sometimes it takes a while before you figure out what it is you’re good at, but don’t ever think that you’re not good at anything. Perhaps you’re good with calculations, or at writing convincing copy…or maybe you have an amazing singing voice. Whatever it is, even if you aren’t aware of it yet, that strength is there – all you have to do is figure out what it is.

So how do you discover what your strength is? It varies from person to person. Some people just need to just sit down and assess what they’ve achieved so far and what they think they’re capable of. Other people need to hear what their friends have observed about their skills, and have to be pushed in the right direction…like me.

I believe that my main strength lies in my ability to start and run small businesses, but I wasn’t always aware of that fact. I knew I could set up businesses and manage them well, but I never viewed it as anything special. I just thought I was doing something mediocre that everyone else could do if they felt like it. I never really took this talent seriously until a good friend of pointed out how difficult it is to do what I do, and that it’s definitely something that I can use in my career. I believe you are all familiar with this good friend of mine – she happens to be an inspiring lady named Liz Thompson. :)

While most of us struggle to discover what our hidden strengths are, some people seem to have been born knowing what their skills are. For those people, it’s only a matter of waiting for the right opportunities to arrive so that they can show the world what they’ve got. In a sense, it’s kind of like how Hollywood works – many brilliant actors and actresses go unnoticed until they get into a film that serves as their big break, and then boom! They skyrocket into superstardom! :)

To help illustrate the importance of focusing on what you’re good at instead of being pressured by society or your competition into doing the same things that they do, let’s consider the case of Lisa Peck, the author of several success guides.

In her article “Achieve Leadership Excellence No Matter Where You Go” from Healthy Wealthy nWise, Lisa tells us about her own personal experience with struggling to do something that she wasn’t meant to do. Lisa was pursuing a career as a business coach, and she was in a slump. She couldn’t seem to land any clients, and she couldn’t figure out why. And then, in a stroke of horribly bad timing, her coaching school required her to have seven paying clients within one month, or else she would be kicked out. She only had one client at the time, and she felt like giving up.

Then she received a call from an older, more experienced business coach, and it was during that call that she realized what the problem was. In her attempt to sell herself as a coach to corporate males, she was taking a more aggressive, masculine approach to coaching. This wouldn’t have caused her problems if she was naturally good at it, but the truth was that she wasn’t. Being a mother of six, Lisa’s talent lay in her skills as a gentler, more maternal coach. When she realized that and started using that skill to her advantage, her career started picking up, and she no longer had any trouble finding clients.

Being aware of your talent isn’t enough to ensure your success. It’s also important to put in 100% of your efforts into pursuing your goals. Dreams are not achieved overnight, and they certainly don’t come true by themselves. Like most things in life, they require time, patience, and perseverance.

No matter what your strengths are, the road to fulfilling your dreams will be a long and bumpy one, and you’ll need a strong will and the support of the people around you to survive. Going back to Lisa’s own journey, she tripped so many times and suffered from one failure after another, but that didn’t really stop her from getting back up. Sure, she had someone help her get out of the ditch of despair that she found herself in, but it was her own determination that enabled her to make use of that help. If Lisa had truly fallen down in defeat, then she wouldn’t have bothered listening to the advice that was given to her. She would have missed out on many opportunities to further her career, and would have probably forced herself to be content with being a housewife and a failed coach.

Determining your strength is definitely a milestone but finding out how to utilize it to give your life a deeper meaning is a higher level of self-realization that requires constant work. Maybe that’s why O’Connor from Fast and Furious 4 said “I’m working on it” when someone asked him about his code. You’re not only required to find out what your code is, but you are also required to keep working on it in order to achieve your goals.

Adaire


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