‘When you have once seen the glow of happiness on the face of a beloved person, you know that a man can have no vocation but to awaken that light on the faces surrounding him.’ –Albert Camus
I recently took the Character Strengths test on AuthenticHappiness.org for the second time. I figured since I just started a 9-month certificate program in Applied Positive Psychology that I should retake the test designed by Martin Seligman himself, after all, my program was modeled on his research and teachings. My test results showed up almost exactly the same as 4 years ago. My top strengths include:
Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence
Hope, Optimism, and Future-Mindedness
Spirituality, Sense of Purpose and Faith
Initially, I wasn’t surprised nor pleased with these findings. Yes, I already do live most of my days predominately in peace, gratitude, beauty and hope. And yes, I feel deeply connected to my place and purpose for living on this planet at this exact moment in humanity’s history. But what the heck can these results DO for me in discovering and finding my life’s purpose and passion? And HOW can I make a living in using my strengths? HOW can simply being hopeful and optimistic fulfill my life’s mission and purpose on this earth?
I LOVE photography and am so proud of myself for creating my business last year, but I know it’s not my only mission here on earth. I like connecting with my clients and capturing their precious moments. And I really do love creating something beautiful and lasting! However, I want to expand my photography business into something greater. Exactly what that expansion looks like, I'm not quite sure of, but I am certain that it will be revealed at the perfect time.
After further reflection of the findings from my Character Strengths test, it actually all makes perfect sense! And it is absolutely possible- I just had to take this information and shift my focus. For the past decade I’ve been so focused on my struggle with ‘What’s my purpose?’ that I dismissed my strengths. Based on these results, what do I already do extremely well? What am I already an expert in? What have I already mastered? And how can I use these top natural talents and strengths to help others? I’ve been viewing my results from this test from the INCORRECT lens. I’ve been looking at my strengths as a ‘Yeah, that’s nice. Yes, I have joy in my everyday, but I can’t make a living off that. I can’t use those strengths for much other than feeling good in my daily life, which is wonderful but that’s about it.’ INCORRECT
My entire adult life, I’ve been seeking, searching and schooling myself to find ‘my passion’ and to become an expert in one area. I’ve sought excellence in one area but have always seemed to come out more of a generalist in many. I have found momentum, speed and accomplished many goals only to find myself burned out and unmotivated. This change of lens in viewing these results suggest that I’m already an expert! I’m an expert in hope, optimism and gratitude. I’m a master in finding beauty in the everyday and enjoying all the richness and vibrancy this life has to offer. I’m passionate and enthused about LIVING, LEARNING, EXPANDING and my FAITH that I’m here on this planet, at this time, and for a purpose (even though I’m still growing into it). And the irony of all this is that THAT is my purpose, my calling, my mission, my dharma.
I’m here to teach, inspire, encourage and motivate others to curate positivity, beauty and gratitude in their everyday. I'm here to cultivate community and capture the connection between families and their loved ones through the medium of photography. I'm here to curate hope, optimism and excitement for the future so that other beautiful souls can get out there and share their gifts to help heal the world. This is me, ever changing, growing, and evolving into the person I am designed to be and the life I am designed to live! This is The Magical Everyday. And this is the next step in it’s evolution.
With joy, love & light,