Start with your Strengths

As soon as you look at the world with your own time in firm focus as your most valuable asset, then life will change, ultimately in a way that will make your own time better.

That is what you are truly spending. To me, money is little more that a symbol of our time. Money itself is nothing. It’s paper…or a number on a computer somewhere.


Having an awareness of your own time as your most valuable asset does not render you immune to the struggle of how best to spend it. And, to make matters worse, sometimes the added pressure of this awareness causes one to overthink to the point of indecision and inaction, ultimately compromising the happiness and fulfilment that your own time can provide.

Damn it.


While clearly very early days, I have been able to stay on top of the numerous projects I have decided to embark upon this year. I always try to hit the ground running in January, and so far, I feel the year is off to a good start. Strangely, things are on track. I’m not sure how, but I’ve been able to find an equilibrium between study, work, creativity, family and adventure.

Stranger still, I feel calm—I feel that things are happening exactly as they should (which of course, they are). It’s actually somewhat off-putting, but I can definitely get used to it.

As to whether or not I can keep the equilibrium up? Time will tell.

Start with your strengths.

My counsellor & friend, Elizabeth, recommended I take the VIA Institute ( character strengths test in the very first session I had with her, roughly 18 months ago. As I understand it, there are many super-useful character tests available, but this particular one focuses exclusively on your most positive character strengths.

There is, of course, much value to be found in acknowledging and being mindful about your weaknesses or opportunities for improvement. I get that. But just for the moment, let’s put that aside.

The VIA Survey of Character Strengths is a simple self-assessment that takes less than 15 minutes and provides a wealth of information to help you understand your core characteristics.

It ranks your top 25 strengths—all admirable, positive qualities—from highest to lowest. The immediate self-knowledge gained from this test is invaluable, and can help to shape a clearer path forward.

I highly recommend it.

But try to be really honest. We all want to believe that we are overflowing with all these character strengths—and perhaps we are—but the real question is: what is number 1?

…numbers 2-5 are apparently also very useful.

Take the test here.

How are you?

I hope—through either some well-earned down-time, or by launching into your year with work and projects—your January is going swimmingly.

Stay safe and cool in the Australian summer (or perhaps warm and cosy in the American winter) and remember, when it comes to sunscreen:
1. Apply.
2. Re-apply.
3. Re-apply.

If you felt comfortable doing so, feel free to share your #1 character strength in the comments. I’ll do the same.

For the fellow dreamers, allow yourself a treat and go see La La Land at the movies. Sessions are already starting to dwindle.


Credits – Justin Hurwitz (From the La La Land Score)