Cultivating Strengths

Seh Hui Leong


'Cultivation' by Seh Hui

Personally I’m really a big fan of Marcus Buckingham’s “Now, Discover Your Strengths”, which advocates the importance of focusing on our strengths and harness that in-born powerhouse to achieve greatness. One great thing about the book is that it gave exclusive access to their Strengths Finder online test which leaves you with an accurate profile of five strength themes that you possessed, based on their intesive academic research and a large dataset of individuals who have taken the same test and later studied.

Two week ago, Sam Radford and his readers discussed about my strengths profile, engaging in a discussion as I attempt to explore new territories in explaining how I feel about these strengths and how have I (or have not) utilize them in my own life. In the discussion, I mainly try to relate my experiences and thoughts about:

  • Connectedness (strong beliefs that we are connected in some way),
  • Input (likes to collect whatever’s interesting),
  • Intellection (likes to indulge oneself in thinking),
  • Maximizer (the drive to making things great), and
  • Relator (engaging in close and deep relationships)

And how each of these strengths reflects different aspects of myself and how these strengths interact with each other to bringing out my unique way of seeing and living my life in this world.

After two weeks and revisiting this, it sort of came to me that we, as human beings, need to cultivate ourselves to attain our greatest potential. And the thing about life is that it’s never about two points – beginning and end; but rather it’s about a constant progression and experiencing surroundings, events and people that came our way at different points in time.

Throughout the whole journey, there’d be many things that we’re not aware of possessing within ourselves. And there’d be times when we are made aware of the many strengths that we possess but not sure how these gifts work and how would they fit in the bigger picture of our own becoming. Personally I find that a bit devastating in the sense I felt lost and impatient, and it surges an deep innate drive wanting to trying as hard and fast as I could into understanding them intellectually and exploit them as soon as I could find some sort of utility that can come out of these untapped capabilities.

However, the reality is that: it doesn’t work that way and I’m pretty much bound to find myself crashing into walls and not knowing what I got myself into.

The fact is that the unknown doesn’t manifest itself through searching whatever that has already found; but rather interacting with the unknown that has been found and play with it. You know, like a child who had just got a new toy: feel the unknown through our senses, play with it, tinker with it, explore and discover what could be done with it. Throw it against things and see what would stick and what doesn’t, put it with another thing and see what reaction would come out of it, show it to a friend or parent and see how they respond to it… it should always be a process filled with child-like curious and wonder.

And it’s through this playful and immersive learning process, we plants the seeds of our own manifestation – which in turn will grow into new discoveries and experiences that act as nutrients that enrich our own being.

And… who knows? Probably we’d find ourselves unknowingly reached where we wanted ourselves to be. That’d be an extremely great thought to keep in mind ;-).


Written by

Seh Hui Leong

Python programmer by trade, interested in a broad range of creative fields: illustrating, game design, writing, choreography and most recently building physical things. Described by a friend as a modern renaissance man.