For as long as I can remember, I have always tried to understand who I am and what I'm good at. And I've always tried to learn more about the things that interest me so I can be good at those things. My pursuit of knowledge was just one of the things that made me me. So much so that my mother called me her professional student when I had enrolled for a PhD.
The word overachiever is no doubt blinking in spiritual neon lights above my head. And I was obsessed with getting straight A. Totally obsessed. I was the kid who wasn't allowed to do homework when I got home from school. Nope, I had to go out and play first. And come a certain time at night, those school books were taken away from me. I wasn't allowed to study anymore.
My husband is constantly reminding me of how I would totally freak out before a university exam, stressing about this formula or that, only to walk out of the exam with top marks. (We were in the same graduating class for engineering. That was how we met.)
But my obsession with learning and striving for the best I can achieve is not something that I like doing by myself. I prefer it when I'm able to encourage others to join me on my journey—and sometimes, I drag people along kicking and screaming.
But I have another talent that I have exploited my adult life in every job that I've ever had. I have this innate ability to explain complex ideas in a way that everyone can understand. It's something that comes from my days in university, when my mother would be the sounding board I needed to wrap my head around some of the more complex physics concepts. If I could explain it to her, then I understood it. And when I was stuck, she would often say something completely bizarre that would unlock the thing that was confusing me.
I say this all jokingly because I know exactly who I am. I know my little quirks and my family love me for them. So, when I decided to take a CliftonStrengths® test, I laughed at when I saw what my top five strengths were:
But perhaps I should take a step back and explain what all of that means.