There are many principles which, if properly employed, can help you realize greater success in life. As I was reading a book recently I was reminded of some wise advice shared with me by one of my mentors sometime back, the need to focus on our strengths.

Each person is born with certain strengths and talents. During the course of life, there will be situations and events that give insight into these strengths. For example, certain people learn at an early age that they have a particular aptitude for music and sounds. Others find that they can easily relate to and connect with other people.

Likewise, people will naturally have certain weaknesses. They may have trouble with detail oriented tasks while easily being able to visualize and develop outstanding ideas. They could perhaps be very artistic yet have tremendous difficulty with mathematics.

A simple key to success is to build our life, and our career, around our strengths. Rather than doing what someone else feels we should do with our life, or chasing a given career path for the money it can bring, we should align our activities around our strengths.

When you’re operating in your area of personal strengths, things will naturally be easy and there will be an effortless flow to your activities. You’ll find that time passes quickly and rather than watching the clock at work you’ll look up and wonder where all the time has gone and how in the world the day is already over. When working from your strengths, you’ll be much more productive and will ultimately find you’re happier and more fulfilled.

Likewise, if you’re in a role you don’t enjoy and where your weaknesses are brought out in stark relief, rather than spending all your energy trying to turn these weaknesses into strengths, consider changing what you do to an area where you can focus on your strengths. Granted, there’ll be times where you must shore up a weakness as you may have no choice but to engage in certain activities that require you to operate in an area in which you’re weak, but to the extent you can choose, work to the maximum extent possible engaging in activities in which your strengths can shine and work on shoring up your weaknesses only as much as necessary so they don’t interfere with your use of your strengths. Too many people spend large amounts of their time trying to turn their weaknesses into strengths only to find too late that this has taken so much time away from focusing on their strengths that they’ve lost tremendous opportunity that could have been theirs if they focused on those areas in which they were strong.

You’ll find when you properly align your activities that you can build your strengths to the extent that they simply overpower and cause your weaknesses to move into a position of insignificance.

Consciously considering your strengths and weaknesses will also help you, if you have not already done so, to define a mission or purpose for your life, this being another tremendously beneficial exercise. Your strengths will direct you to certain activities which you’re naturally gifted at and it is almost a certainty that your true life calling will be in line with these strengths.

So, consider your strengths, consider your weaknesses, and align your life’s activities around your strengths and you’ll greatly enhance your chances for lifelong success and happiness.