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Archive for January, 2012

I have spent the last few hours creating my virtual bulletin boards on Pinterest. It is so FUN, and it’s making me totally HAPPY. This way of archiving my favorite things seems to speak to the INPUT theme of myself. Many thanks to my friend DD for taking the time to sit with me and explain how to use this website.

Check me out on Pinterest to see what’s up with The Kat.

For those of you following my Reading Challenge, I am currently reading 11/22/63 by Stephen King and We Are Their Heaven by Allison DuBois. My little Jedi and I are reading Floors by Patrick Carman.

“If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much room.” ~ John Mangus

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    I read my first book of 2012, StrengthsFinder 2.0, which also included a 30 minute on-line assessment I took on the book’s companion website. Actually, if I decide to pursue this line of thinking, I will refer to this book many times over the course of the year. I chose this book first because I will be job hunting, and I thought it would give me some insight into what type of job would interest me. Of course, paying my bills interests me, too. The results are interesting, so I’ve decided to share them with you.

 Input – Restorative – Deliberative – Connectedness – Responsibility

     These are my top five themes of talent out of 34 different themes. Yes, StrengthsFinder measures talent instead of strength. They believe that talent is one of the areas needed to build true strength. According to the author, Tom Rath, “the purpose of StrengthsFinder 2.0 is not to anoint you with strengths – it simply helps you find the areas where you have the greatest potential to develop strengths.” Of course, you also need to add skills, knowledge, and practice to make it all work.

    I want to share briefly each of my theme descriptions (taken from my Insight and Action-Planning Guide):

Input:

crave to know more; often like to collect and archive all kinds of information (I love to collect books and quotes.)

 Job suggestions: in charge with acquiring new information each day, such as teaching, research, or journalism

 Restorative:

adept at dealing with problems; good at figuring out what is wrong and resolving it

 Job suggestions: seek roles to solve problems or my success depends on my ability to restore and resolve; might enjoy roles in medicine, consulting, computer programming, or customer service

 Deliberative:

best described by the serious care taken in making decisions or choices; anticipate the obstacles

 Job suggestions: consider work to provide advice or counsel; might be adept at legal work, crafting sound business deals, or ensuring compliance to regulations

Connectedness:

have faith in links between all things; believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has a reason

 Job suggestions: consider roles – listen and counsel; can become adept at helping other people see connections and purpose in everyday occurrences

 Responsibility:

take psychological ownership of what they say and do; committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty

 Job seeking suggestions: emphasize sense of responsibility when job hunting; disclose desire to be held fully accountable for success or failure of projects, intense dislike of unfinished work, and need to make things right when commitments aren’t met

     Out of all five of my themes, I’m glad Responsibility is at the bottom because one of the areas of my life I want to shed from this year is responsibilities. Granted much of what is said in the insight section of this theme fits my personality; however, it is the one I like the least.

     Both my on-line report and the book give strength insights, which tell you what makes you stand out, as well as ten “ideas for action” for each theme. For example, one of my “ideas for action” for Input is “deliberately increase your vocabulary; collect new words, and learn the meaning of each of them.” This is funny to me because before the New Year, I was looking at page-a-day calendars at Books-A-Million. One of the calendars I found intriguing was a “word-a-day” calendar. I was tempted, but ended up not buying it. The book and on-line resources provide additional information, which I will go back to throughout the year.

     Overall, the book is interesting and provides some helpful insight. I know the author wants to sell his book; however, I feel it would be awesome if you could pay a fee to just take the on-line test and use its on-line resources. Unfortunately, you have to buy the book to get the special code to take the on-line assessment.  My advice to anyone interested in StrengthsFinder 2.0: borrow the book to see what it is all about and peruse the website. If you are still interested after the tour of both resources, buy the book and take the test.

 On a side note: I am currently reading Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris. This is a book in the series that the HBO television series True Blood is based on.

“Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?”

~ Benjamin Franklin

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    My little guy and I like to go to Books-A-Million at least once a month to spend some quality time together. He orders chocolate milk and a box of gummy worms. I order a mocha latte. Generally, I read the monthly BookPage newspaper with reviews and advertisements for the newest books out in the bookstores. My little guy finds something interesting to read, which on many occasions I end up purchasing.  Although on this particular visit, he brought his allowance, was given a 50% coupon by a friend’s mother, and walked out with a brand new hardcover Star Wars Lego Visual Dictionary for $10.79. It is relaxing and fun, and we are spending time together. It is definitely one of my favorite things I like to do with my little guy.

    Yesterday afternoon, we went for one of our monthly dates. In the middle display alone, I saw a dozen books I wanted to read.  Thumbing through December’s issue of BookPage, I saw a few more titles I wanted to read.  It dawned on me, as I was sipping my mocha latte, that I wouldn’t be reading any new books until I started reading some of the books I already owned at home. And, those were not going to get read if I did not start making the time to read them.

    Reading makes me happy, so I am adding “reading more” as one of my resolutions for my happiness project.  My goal is to read at least two books per month. At first, I was going to put the books in order by month, but decided that may be too stressful. Instead, I just created a list of books, and I have separated them into categories. I love reading children’s literature, so quite a few titles fall in that category. Each month, I’ll decide what to read based on my mood, time constraints, movie releases based on books I’ve chosen, as well as release dates for books not yet published. Yes, even though there are many books on my book shelves I have not read, yet….there are a couple of books that are scheduled to come out this year that I want to read this year.

    One day I would love to start a book club. For the time being, I’ll have to put that idea on my Wish List. I’ve included my reading list for your viewing pleasure (click on the link below). I’ll keep you up to date throughout the year on my progress. I hope you decide to do more of the things you love throughout the year.

Happy New Year!

Reading List 2012

 A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face.  It is one of the few havens remaining where a man’s mind can get both provocation and privacy.  ~Edward P. Morgan

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