Milestones like birthdays, anniversaries or new years can prompt an assessment of your job, relationships or life in general. Too often, these forays into self-examination are nothing more than an exhaustive list of what’s wrong with our minds, bodies and material wealth. Focusing on what’s wrong does provide needed motivation, but it can also prompt paralysis, anxiety and depression. Try maximizing what’s going well instead of trying to eliminate weaknesses.

Appreciative inquiry can help. The field of appreciative inquiry was created by David Cooperrider and Suresh Srivastva. It focuses on deep investigation of what’s positive and life-giving. It doesn’t deny what’s negative, but the positive focus helps you find the source of vitality, strength and energy.

Here are just a few questions from a People Results blog on using appreciative inquiry for personal development.

  • What do you love most about your career/personal life?
  • What has most encouraged you to stay the course?
  • What are the talents for which you are most grateful?

You can substitute other areas of life and get as specific as you need. Regardless of the particular focus, when you invest in and intensify what’s going right, your weaknesses become increasingly irrelevant. Just think of the passion and excitement you would bring to your strengths, rather than slogging through fixing what’s wrong!

Let’s discover your strengths. Tell us about you.

Photo from Dollar Photo Club.