Resilience requires being our best selves more consistently

Everyone is better than you are… (at something). Which makes it imperative that you connect and ask for help. At the same time that we encounter this humbling idea, we also need to acknowledge that you are better at something than anyone you meet. Everyone you meet needs something you can do better than they can. —Seth Godin

Each of us is a bundle of strengths and “weaknesses,” which means there are two ways of thinking about personal improvement—remedy our flaws or more consistently use our strengths.

While each of us has a few “flaws” that may deserve prompt attention, we are far more likely to achieve our individual goals and collective goals when we and others hone and persistently use our strengths.

That’s what resilient people do, I think.

Rather than spending an inordinate amount of time focusing on or lamenting their deficits, or trying to correct those of others, they identify their strengths and apply them at every opportunity consistent with their values and goals.

Put another way, resilient people more consistently offer their “best selves” to the world—that is, the part of them that is most influential and creates well-being and energy among those with whom they interact.

As an example, I have learned that I am my “best self” when I use my talents for planning, writing, innovating, and advocating for things that are important to me.

Over time I have learned that I am far happier, productive, and effective when I more consistently use my strengths and the synergy generated among them to serve purposes greater than myself.

Some things to consider:

What are the attributes of relationships and/or environments that elicit your best self?

What does your best self look like at work? With family and friends? In addressing issues that concern your community and nation?

Are there common strengths among those best selves? What can you do to develop and use those strengths more consistently?

10 Responses to “Resilience requires being our best selves more consistently”


  1. 1 jimmi77 February 22, 2017 at 6:48 am

    Very well said! Nothing succeeds like success, and focusing on what we can do well in aid of ourselves, and others, makes everyone better off.

  2. 3 Ann Marie Luce February 22, 2017 at 7:00 am

    How do we as leaders create an environment that allows us to be our best selves when we are faced with competing agendas. I know when I am at my best and when I am using my talents. I feel satisfied, productive and fulfilled. The opportunity for me to do what I am truly best at and what brings me joy often gets lost in the minutia of the day. I also see that what I identify as my strengths and passion might not be what overs see within the organization. How do we as leaders advocate and bring to light what we are passionate about and what allow us to be resilient when others may not see things in the same manner or have the same plan for us?

  3. 4 Dennis Sparks February 22, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Most readers, I think, can identify with the challenge of other people having plans for us that may differ from our own. Those people may include bosses, colleagues, and family members, among others.

    The first thought that comes to mind is that it’s essential that we understand our strengths and the situations in which we can best apply them. And for a variety of reasons many of us do not possess that understanding, which seems to me to be a core quality of emotional intelligence.

    The second step is to bring that clarity to our relationships and to make requests regarding how we can best use our strengths in that relationship. And then we negotiate to find win-win solutions.

    I know all of this is easier to say than to do, so I am curious how other readers address this problem….

  4. 5 Jpk February 23, 2017 at 9:19 am

    I most appreciate your strength of synthesis. It has enriched me for decades.

  5. 7 rickrepicky February 23, 2017 at 9:52 am

    Key line for me: “While each of has a few ‘flaws’ that may deserve prompt attention, we are far more likely to achieve our individual goals and collective goals when we and others hone and persistently use our strengths.” – A strong argument for collaboration working better than isolation for people who have the strength of listening.

  6. 9 Kent Peterson February 23, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    A powerful comment on strengths and focus. One to read several times…and return to it again.


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