Monday, July 28

My StrengthsFinder

One of the new initiatives at SUNY Plattsburgh is the Strengths Test. Starting at Orientation and connecting all the way through student’s campus experience there were be renewed focus on what makes you amazing. Here are is a summary of the initiative and my results.

Trying to sum up the conclusion I wrote this:
I like to consider myself a problem solver (restorative), in doing this I have created a fairly consistent routine (discipline) in order to succeed and accomplish more. In order for my success I need to find a way to empower those closest to me, in fact there is nothing I enjoy more than seeing those around me succeed in every way they would like to (relator and developer). Finally, in attempting to accomplish both my own goals and aid in those around me I attempt to learn from every resource I can; available to me, and attempt to seek the resources that are not immediately available.

After many years of research conducted by The Gallup Organization concluded effective people are those who understand their strengths. These people are best able to develop strategies to meet and exceed the demands of their daily lives, their careers, and their families. An awareness and understanding of our natural talents will provide true insight into the core reasons behind your consistent successes. Your Signature Themes report (below) presents your five most dominant themes of talent, in the rank order revealed by your responses to StrengthsFinder (click here to find out more). Of the 34 themes measured, these are your "top five."

You love to solve problems. Whereas some are dismayed when they encounter yet another breakdown, you can be energized by it. You enjoy the challenge of analyzing the symptoms, identifying what is wrong, and finding the solution. You may prefer practical problems or conceptual ones or personal ones. You may seek out specific kinds of problems that you have met many times before and that you are confident you can fix. Or you may feel the greatest push when faced with complex and unfamiliar problems. Your exact preferences are determined by your other themes and experiences. But what is certain is that you enjoy bringing things back to life. It is a wonderful feeling to identify the undermining factor(s), eradicate them, and restore something to its true glory. Intuitively, you know that without your intervention, this thing—this machine, this technique, this person, this company—might have ceased to function. You fixed it, resuscitated it, rekindled its vitality. Phrasing it the way you might, you saved it.

Your world needs to be predictable. It needs to be ordered and planned. So you instinctively impose structure on your world. You set up routines. You focus on timelines and deadlines. You break long-term projects into a series of specific short-term plans, and you work through each plan diligently. You are not necessarily neat and clean, but you do need precision. Faced with the inherent messiness of life, you want to feel in control. The routines, the timelines, the structure, all of these help create this feeling of control. Lacking this theme of Discipline, others may sometimes resent your need for order, but there need not be conflict. You must understand that not everyone feels your urge for predictability; they have other ways of getting things done. Likewise, you can help them understand and even appreciate your need for structure. Your dislike of surprises, your impatience with errors, your routines, and your detail orientation don’t need to be misinterpreted as controlling behaviors that box people in. Rather, these behaviors can be understood as your instinctive method for maintaining your progress and your productivity in the face of life’s many distractions

You see the potential in others. Very often, in fact, potential is all you see. In your view no individual is fully formed. On the contrary, each individual is a work in progress, alive with possibilities. And you are drawn toward people for this very reason. When you interact with others, your goal is to help them experience success. You look for ways to challenge them. You devise interesting experiences that can stretch them and help them grow. And all the while you are on the lookout for the signs of growth—a new behavior learned or modified, a slight improvement in a skill, a glimpse of excellence or of “flow” where previously there were only halting steps. For you these small increments—invisible to some—are clear signs of potential being realized. These signs of growth in others are your fuel. They bring you strength and satisfaction. Over time many will seek you out for help and encouragement because on some level they know that your helpfulness is both genuine and fulfilling to you.

Relator describes your attitude toward your relationships. In simple terms, the Relator theme pulls you toward people you already know. You do not necessarily shy away from meeting new people—in fact, you may have other themes that cause you to enjoy the thrill of turning strangers into friends—but you do derive a great deal of pleasure and strength from being around your close friends. You are comfortable with intimacy. Once the initial connection has been made, you deliberately encourage a deepening of the relationship. You want to understand their feelings, their goals, their fears, and their dreams; and you want them to understand yours. You know that this kind of closeness implies a certain amount of risk—you might be taken advantage of—but you are willing to accept that risk. For you a relationship has value only if it is genuine. And the only way to know that is to entrust yourself to the other person. The more you share with each other, the more you risk together. The more you risk together, the more each of you proves your caring is genuine. These are your steps toward real friendship, and you take them willingly.

You love to learn. The subject matter that interests you most will be determined by your other themes and experiences, but whatever the subject, you will always be drawn to the process of learning. The process, more than the content or the result, is especially exciting for you. You are energized by the steady and deliberate journey from ignorance to competence. The thrill of the first few facts, the early efforts to recite or practice what you have learned, the growing confidence of a skill mastered—this is the process that entices you. Your excitement leads you to engage in adult learning experiences—yoga or piano lessons or graduate classes. It enables you to thrive in dynamic work environments where you are asked to take on short project assignments and are expected to learn a lot about the new subject matter in a short period of time and then move on to the next one. This Learner theme does not necessarily mean that you seek to become the subject matter expert, or that you are striving for the respect that accompanies a professional or academic credential. The outcome of the learning is less significant than the “getting there.”

Saturday, July 12

A Change : Back to Plattsburgh

The idea that life is a circle has never been clearer: I am back in Plattsburgh! And I have a big ass smile on my face :)

It has been an amazingly busy few months, and I have made a (potential) major life change. Moving away from politics for a bit and jumping back into higher education.

It is still surreal to be back; as if I am in an amazing dream and at every point where I should wake up, I am not and it actually gets better. Every hour my excitement grows. I feel as if I am supposed to be here, something not felt in a couple years.

In other news, I have already been visited by some fantastic friends.

I have an apartment double the size of any before. I am in a city I adore. I am work with people I love. Doing a job that sounds amazing.

I have been given the rare chance to make a dramatic change in my life direction. It is going to be a fun year.

Wednesday, April 30

“The Journey” ~ by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew 
what you had to do, and began, 
though the voices around you 
kept shouting 
their bad advice—
though the whole house 
began to tremble 
and you felt the old tug 
at your ankles. 
"Mend my life!" 
each voice cried. 
But you didn't stop. 
You knew what you had to do, 
though the wind pried 
with its stiff fingers 
at the very foundations, 
though their melancholy 
was terrible. 
It was already late 
enough, and a wild night, 
and the road full of fallen 
branches and stones. 
But little by little, 
as you left their voices behind, 
the stars began to burn 
through the sheets of clouds, 
and there was a new voice 
which you slowly 
recognized as your own, 
that kept you company 
as you strode deeper and deeper 
into the world 
determined to do 
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Sunday, April 27

Ten Things

1. "People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on Earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child - our own two eyes. All is a miracle." ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

2. It only took 27 years, but I finally can finally whistle.

3. A side project (check out this amazing website, amazing what you can do with paper) :

No glue!
4. So, 58 days..but who is counting?

5. All of my friends and family are popping out babies like it is their job! And not one invite yet to play with the toys...I mean, see them.

6. ^ one misplaced "o" and a lost "p" makes that the funniest statement to date. ^

7. Great 5k race yesterday, go SUNY Morrisville!

8. I bought a new bike almost two weeks ago, have put on 50 miles already. Totally proving to be the best purchase thus far in this life time.

I haven't died yet, though came close twice now.

9. I have started the epic journey that is reading Harry Potter.

10. I have running better and feeling better than I have in about a decade. Had about a week of runners-high, something so rare I barely get once a year. I know, I just jinked myself and will now fall into a pot hole and break a leg....I will take that risk.

Monday, April 14

I think this will be one of the most important purchases of this decade :)

Happy Trails

Monday, April 7

[T]hat blessed mood,
In which the burthen of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world,
Is lightened:—that serene and blessed mood,
In which the affections gently lead us on,—
Until, the breath of this corporeal frame
And even the motion of our human blood
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul:
While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.
~William Wordsworth

Monday, February 17

Ten Things

1. "Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies." ~Erich Fromm

2. Completed Season 2 of House Of Cards. And damn.

Above: Awesomness.

3. Possibly making big moves (2.16.2014). It will be an interesting year with a few extra twists.

4. Just bought a new computer and paid the IRS, a months pay. Wonderful.

5. Game on for the crazyness of March and April!

6. I think we are living in one of the best times for television. Similar to where we were at in 1999 with the West Wing and The Soprano's; television is making a change and it is awesome. Especially with House of Cards on Netflix and True Detective on HBO. Some great, dark story telling focused on dialogue and plot over action and violence.

7. I have a guilty conscious, even when there is no reason possible to feel any guilt. Working on that.

8. I may actually be in ok shape financially; at least, very very close to in the black. Lets see how the next three months play out. Ignore #4 when reading this.

9. I am making walk books with out the amazing Caitlyn Woodward. Blasphemy.

10. Falling in love with this song : "Always remember there was nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name."