Some of you may not know, but I am an intense believer in the Clifton StrengthsFinder Assessment. Now I know the stigma that veils many assessments (i.e. assessments aren’t accurate, it will box me in, etc), but this StrengthsFinder assessment is extremely different. Based on millions of interviews and over half a century of academic research, this assessment accurately reveals what your natural talents are (I know because I’ve talked to countless number of people who have taken the assessment and loved it). Anyway, my goal of this post isn’t to sell the assessment, but to talk about a certain aspect of it. (In the future, I will continue to talk about strengths and talents.)
When I reflect on my past, I realize that I have never actually won many things. In all of my Tae Kwon Do competitions, I would always get third place or worst. In my short career as a 12 year old hockey player, I got the MVP award. Hahaha…okay I wish. Instead of the MVP, I got the MIP award – most improved player. And we all know that the MIP award is the award given to the worst player. Anyway, in all of that I have never actually won many things. However, even though I was deeply disappointed with not winning, I quickly got over it and went on with life. Why? Because “competition” is not one of my talents (themes) – “achiever” is!
If I had competition, then I would have a deep inner desire to win first place in all things. That is definitely not me. I don’t care if I get first place or second, all I really care about is working hard and doing the best that I can do. In other words, I have a great deal of stamina, and I work hard, but winning isn’t necessarily on the top of my priorities. Having said all that, I do like to win, but it’s just not everything to me.
Now what does all this information have to do with you?
Let me answer that question with a quote that my brother in law (Michael Hu) told me: “Know thy enemy and know thy self and you will win a hundred battles.” Sun Tzu Wu
In other words, in a culture where there is hardly any emphasis on self-knowledge, true greatness and significance will only be achieved when you discover the unique way that God has created you – the distinct fingerprints of God on your life.