August 1st 2011
HAPPINESS: Focus on your strengths
By Aliker David Martin
My first attempt at dropping out of school was in 1989.I was unhappy with my school’s correctional approach. Corporal punishments were a guarantee for every pupil at least in a week. My math teacher Mr. Lajul was my worst thou I learnt to love him eventually. Math lessons were every day before morning break. Pupils who failed his exercise would not go for break, as they had to redo the work till they passed. Mr. Lajul grew his nails to pinch pupils who failed his exercise really hard and most times they developed cuts. My parents would not allow me drop out as they were the no-nonsense type and would beat sense into you for thinking of dropping out of school. My performance continued to deteriorate so I had to find a way to be happy at school and produce good results or I fell out with my parents. I focused on my strength English and performed really well.
This is the lesson we all have to learn to be happy. Focus on your strengths in life. While my parents paid more money for extra lessons and I put in more efforts to perform better in Math, I could only be a mediocre in Math. My joy came from excelling in my strengths and so will your happiness. Many times we find our selves in conflict or try to overcome adversities in our life, be it in marriage, in school grades or may be at work. If we focus on our strengths we find ourselves happy with the outcomes because we end up succeeding with minimal effort. However, to focus on our strengths we need to differentiate between talents and strengths. Talents can make us succeed through practice. We could be talented athletes or artist but our strengths will bring us happiness. Strengths are traits within us that we can learn if we don’t have them. But talents you either have it or you don’t. Our strengths could be in being patient, tolerant, kind and possibly thoughtful. Happiness is within our selves and its our traits that make us happy.
The lesson I learnt from my Math experience that I would like to share with you today is, to spend as little time as possible on your weakness and most of your time on your strengths if you want to be happy. Don’t forget that the most successful people are not the ones with the highest IQ or best grades at school but the ones who know who they are, what they are good at and work on developing and employing their strengths. Just focus on your strengths and you will be guaranteed of a happy life.