Playing to Strengths

Dana Telford
Dana Telford

There are many ways to create wealth – particularly if you use your strengths.

Consider the trophy wife.  In her husband’s final days he whispered, “Barbie, promise me something.”
“Anything, Baby Cakes,” she replied.
“My money means a lot to me,” he said. “Please bury me with it.”
She nodded solemnly, thought carefully, and agreed.  He died shortly thereafter.

As the funeral concluded, she placed a small box inside his coffin. Her girlfriend, seeing the box, asked incredulously, “Did you really do it?”

The widow replied, “Yes. I promised I would.  Call me old-fashioned, but I believe in keeping a promise.”

She dabbed carefully at the water welling in her eyes and continued,” After he passed, I put the money in my checking account.  Inside that coffin is a check I wrote to him for the full amount. If he can figure out how to cash it, he can have it.”

Of the many paths there are to creating wealth, I believe they all start with playing to strengths.

I have a client with a son named Henry. After years of frustrating his teachers and parents, Henry was diagnosed with ADD.  By his mother’s account he couldn’t sit still for 10 seconds, let alone concentrate on a blackboard. She became obsessed with finding something that would hold his attention.

Then she took him to a go-kart track. He drove with confidence, zoomed past everyone, and loved it.  From then on all he wanted to do was race go-karts.

She got him involved in circuit racing.  He won nearly every race.  In one particular race she noticed him raise and shake his right hand as he passed her seat in the bleachers. As she congratulated him after the race, she noticed that he seemed upset.  When asked about it he replied, “You changed seats in the middle of my race. I know where you sit.  I watch you every lap. Don’t you see me waving at you?  It’s hard to concentrate when you change seats while I’m racing.”

The realization hit her that her son’s ADD brain was wired to manage lots of images and information simultaneously.  A 16 year- old who did poorly in math could drive a go-kart 60+ mph, maneuver corners and opponents, locate his mother in the stands, wave to her, and win the race.

We all have inherent strengths. Let’s all get better at helping the young people around us discover theirs — whether it’s driving go-karts, sculpting, singing, running a business, or a myriad of other talents.   By so doing we’ll help them build self-confidence, attain individual fulfillment, and succeed.

 

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