How Strengthsfinder Can Help You Be A Better Parent

If you love your children as you love yourself, STOP!

And here’s 3 reasons why: –

  1. They don’t think the way you do
  2. They don’t feel the way you do
  3. They don’t behave the way you do

Surprised?  Not really?  And yet, as parents, we do that all the time.

What We Do

Consider the following scenarios …

You cleaned up the mess in your child’s room and you wondered why you were not appreciated for that.  After all, don’t people like to be in a clean and orderly place?

Just the way you liked it?

So it is eating-out night and you decide that it is time for the family to start getting ready to go.  Then you shout out, “let’s all leave in 10 minutes’ time!”  And your kids get upset with you for giving such short notice.

And you wondered what all the fuss is all about.

You instructed your child to stay in her room and study for 2 hours before she can have her privileges.  She is upset with you for insisting that she needed to do that. And you don’t get it.

After all, it worked for you when you were her age.

Every time when your son comes to you, he only comes because he needed your help to buy him some things.  And that disappoints you.  Why isn’t he coming to you for other matters besides just wanting your help to buy things?

You would never have gone to your own parents just for this.

And all too often, we impose how we love or treat ourselves onto our children.  We subconsciously expect them to think, feel and behave just like we would have thought, felt or behaved.

And when they don’t, they disappoint us, and we get upset or sometimes even angry with their “disobedience.”


There was a time years ago when my teenage son blurted out, “Dad, stop asking what my dreams are!  I am not like you!  I am not you!.”  At that instance, I admit I was disappointed with him.

And then, it hit me.

This Great Amazing Coach.  Deer in the headlights moment.  Standing in front of my son. Blinking away.  And I just realised that I have BEEN doing everything I coached my clients on NOT doing.

Don’t treat your people like yourself.  They are different from you.

According to The Gallup Organization, the probability of finding some one that thinks, feels and behaves in the exact same way as you do in the world is 1 in 33,000,000.  And the odds get worse in finding that some one in your own home.

Your children and your loved ones are not you.  When you get confused, annoyed or upset whenever they don’t do what you tell them to do, it may not always be that they are being disrespectful or disobedient to you.

It could just be that they are distinctly different from you.

So what can you do?


Well, go find out how different you all are.

The Strengthsfinder assessment tool can help you and your loved ones find out the way you all think, feel and behave.

My son and I did the Strengthsfinder and the results were staggeringly revealing. Remember what my son said about he not being me in the area of dreaming the future?  Well, our results confirmed that.

Simply put, I have the Strengthsfinder talent theme of “Futuristic” and he has “Analytical”. And because of those different talent themes, we both dream differently.  One with relative ease and the other, with a little more work.

Because of Futuristic, dreaming about my future is easy and enjoyable.  I just turn it on.  All I need to do is, well, just start dreaming.

For me,  I dream in order to see.


For my son, it gets slightly more complicated.  He can’t just turn on dreaming.  He cannot dream to see.  His “Analytical” would not let him.  He needs to see the facts before he can dream through those facts.

For him, he needs to see in order to dream.


Understanding this simple difference between him and I changed our conversations dramatically.  I no longer ask him what his dreams are.  That frustrates him.  Instead, I would ask him, how does knowing what he knows (the facts) affect his plans.

And today, I no longer get blank stares from him.  I am beginning to get answers.

1 in 33,000,000

So STOP loving and treating your children like you love and treat yourself.  They are different from you.

We cannot change our roles as parents but we can definitely change the way we parent them.

1 in 33,000000.



picture credit: 胡 卓亨


The Secret Of High Achievers

Make every day a good day?

It is possible.  All you really need is to do one thing.

Get things done.

The Secret

High achievers find immense satisfaction when they get things done. And they have a little secret that for many of us, who are not achievers, do not know.

They have a to do list.

They always start their days with a list of things to do. Their objective is to check off each item on the list every time they accomplished it. When they are able to do that, it gives them great satisfaction.  And every time that happens, they have good days.

We can learn from high achievers. And have good days every day.

One Thing

Start your day with a list.  But with a twist.  Don’t create a list of things to do.  But create just ONE THING on your list that you would do.

Putting that ONE THING on your list will start off a chain of things for you: –

  1. Thinking Proactively – It moves you from reaction to response.  In a typical day, you would react to many things that happens.  Every time you react, you have lesser control in what you do.  But by proactively thinking about that one thing you want to accomplish, it shapes your response and  gives you greater control for that one thing on that day.
  2. Doing Intentionally – Having that one thing provides a focal point for your day.  You may wander throughout the day, but with a focal point, it makes you intentionally move towards it.  When you are intentional about doing what you have planned, it will always make you feel better about your day.
  3. Feeling Alive – When you do what you set out to do, you feel useful.  So by creating only one thing on your list,  it gives you a greater chance of accomplishing it.  And when you get things done, you feel alive.  And your day is always good when you are feeling alive.

That ONE THING could be anything.  Could be about work or something totally unrelated to work.  It could be about getting a specific proposal out on that day, or it could even be about something that you have never done before.

What I Did

Let me give you an example of the latter.  I jog early in the morning.  And when I jog, I am totally oblivious to people around me.  On one Friday morning, I decided that my ONE THING for that day would be to say good morning to every stranger I pass by during that morning run.

I wasn’t expecting much.  I am terribly shy.  Yes, you heard me.  I am shy.  And I didn’t think people would respond to me.

Boy, was I wrong!

The first person I said “morning” to, I caught him by surprise.  He ran passed me with a hurried mumbled “morning” back to me.  For the next runner, I gave myself a little more distance between she and I before I greeted her.  This time round, she looked up, and gave me an energetic “morning!”  Over the next 30 minutes, I would do that to every runner I had passed.  And to my surprise, almost everyone greeted me back.  And for some strange reasons, I felt fantastic!

That ONE THING was some thing I had never done before.  While it was not a terribly difficult thing to do, it did require effort and a little courage on my part.  And I did it!  The benefit for me that day wasn’t just feeling fantastic after the run.  It actually shaped my mind and let me looked at everything on that day with more confidence and positivity.  And it turned out to be a very good day.


So make a good day happen.  List down that ONE THING.  

And get it done.

People and things.  One is to be loved and not used.  The other is to be used and not loved.

It is my experience that when we focus on cherishing and flourishing people and relationships, we focus on creating life experiences that lasts.  The work that we do will impact people.  But it is impacting people physically, mentally and emotionally that truly matters.

This is a Shareable Quote.  Please feel free to share or download the quote for your own use.  You can use the social icons below.

(Image Credit Imthaz Ahamed)

Also, check out my latest post, The Courage To Try.


Expression Of Ideas Is Your Strength

My wife told me she does not have the strength of ideation.  That she is not an ideas person.  “No ideation.  No strength in ideas”, she said. That made me raise my eyebrows.

I asked her, “Why not?”  And she told me 3 reasons: –

Different Strengths. Different Ideas.

  1. She doesn’t feel her ideas were original.
  2. What she knows, are stuff that others already have thought about.
  3. She thinks her only strength here is that she is good at learning and putting all these different ideas together.

Her 3rd point had me really puzzled.  So I asked her again, “And that doesn’t make you an ideas person?!”

Often, we all sell ourselves short.

It was Pablo Picasso who said


Good artists copy. Great artists steal.


And it was Steve Jobs who made that line famous.

It meant all good artists have ideas but only the great ones that put the ideas together made it their own.  We all can hold a paint brush.  And only those who paint on a white canvas are noticed.

Our ideas may not be the most original.  And yet, no one really has a monopoly over original ideas.  How often have you been told or you told others that your idea or theirs was nothing new?

Listen to this.

While our ideas may be similar to other people, our expressions of those ideas are our own. When we express these ideas in our own ways, we power these ideas in a new direction or with a fresh perspective.   When we put different ideas together, we create something new and make it our own.

Ideas find its strength and shape through our expressions.  It is our individual expressions of those ideas that showed how we think, feel and behave that is truly an original.

Unfortunately, many get stopped at “it is nothing new”.  We drew away, shut up, and too easily brand ourselves tragically as the person that is a “not”.  Not original.  Not creative.  Not an “ideas person”.


Ideas, originality, and creativity do not belong just to the fancy pants. They belong to everyone.  They belong to you!

I have been married for 27 years. And the one thing I know about my wife is that she is a fabulously “ideas person”.  Every day, she brims with endless creativity in bringing change, hope, joy, strength, and purpose to the family, to her work, and to her friends.

So, let’s stop telling ourselves we have little strength or ability in creating ideas.   Worse still, that we have no ideas.

How you express these supposedly “unoriginal” ideas through your own way is your unique strength.  The fact that you are taking all sorts of existing ideas, mixing them up and creating new insight is precisely what ideation is.  So don’t sell yourself short.

The lack of original ideas may stop you. But it is your expression of those ideas that must move you.