/* Style Definitions */
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
As I age, a fears is that some of the things that I’ve held dear to myself will begin to change or morph and cause me to be different. In some ways, some changes in character would be welcome. But in my core, there’s a restlessness that I don’t want to lose. Therefore, I was pleased to see the results of the Stand Out test by Marcus Buckingham.
My number one strength is “Pioneer.” As I read the characteristics of the Pioneer, I felt that it was spot on. The description with its advantages and its warts was a mirror of how others have seen and described me. The second point was no surprise either. Recently our staff took the Strengths Finder test by Tom Rath. It characterized me as an “Includer” which parallels the traits listed as “Connector.”
Buckingham states that one’s area of genius is precise and when you stray into other areas, you are leading from weakness. Before we can offer our leadership, an understanding of those precise strengths is essential.
Recently I had the opportunity to teach the John Maxwell book Make Today Count. In it, Maxwell stresses the importance of whatever changes we want to make in our lives or strength that is lived out, it will only become part of our being if it is used or practiced daily. Buckingham echoes this idea with his principle #2 – we need to apply our strengths consciously every day.
I felt deja vu while reading the description of the “Pioneer.” Then it came to me. I ended the book I’ve recently written, By Any Means, with a couple of paragraphs of my desires and passions. I am including it here as a summary of the feelings and passions of a “Pioneer.”
“We all want our lives to count for something, have worth. I, too, want to live a long life, one that has made a difference, has added value to those who inhabit this blue-and-green ball revolving through space. I want to endure with a faith and love that’s strong. I want to launch myself into the rivers of life with gusto, like our guide in Costa Rica exhibited. I want to live life on the edge, even if that means some risks and falling from time to time. I pray that I’m productive long into my old age, clinging to the raft, but also not afraid of those times in the river, bumping along in unknown territory, knowing friends will be there ready to help haul me back in.
And through each day, I want to marvel at God’s creation filled with so much wonder, bursting with new adventures and journeys. And when the flat tires and potholes arrive unannounced, we encounter his grace, which will give us the perspective to continue on, surviving through times of hunger, continually experiencing the beauty that is all around us, waiting to be discovered.”