Whether we are fully aware of it or not, we all have conditions for happiness—things that contribute to our sense that life is going the way we want it to go. Most of us can name some of our conditions for happiness, but there are also many that lie below the level of our conscious awareness. Even the most self-aware people have conditions of happiness that they aren’t truly aware of. Our themes help surface many of the conditions for our happiness.
Using my Top 5 themes, here are some conditions of happiness for me:
• Strategic: I am happy when I have options and am able to decide which path to take to best reach my goals. I am unhappy when my options are limited by external factors or other people. When I have the freedom to survey the options and find the one that makes most sense to my Strategic theme.
• Individualization: I am happy when I can speak directly to a person and use my Individualization theme to understand their unique situation or qualities. I’m unhappy when I don’t have enough individual information and instead have to rely on generalizations.
• Ideation: I am happy when I have the freedom to explore new combinations of ideas and play with them to devise creative, novel and original solutions to things. I am unhappy when I have to stick with the obvious, boring and unoriginal status quo. When I’m around people that value creativity and play along with me, I am happy.
• Intellection: I am happy when I have the opportunity to reflect deeply on things that interest me so in order to attain deeper insight and clarity. I’m unhappy when in situations that impose superficial treatment of important ideas.
• Input: I am happy when I discover useful ideas and products and have the occasion to share them with others. It’s especially satisfying when others find similar utility that I found in those recommendations. I am unhappy when surrounded by things that have limited utility.
I’d encourage you to explore your Top 5 in a similar way to discover what conditions of happiness your themes reveal to you. I wouldn’t stop there. You could also share your discoveries with significant people in your life such as life or business partners. You could even take this further by discovering their conditions of happiness as well. Having them take the StrengthsFinder could aid in that process.
This is also a great team discovery approach for groups that use CliftonStrengths. As an exercise, ask people to articulate their conditions of happiness and share them with each other. This can be a great way to increase team trust and preempt unnecessary drama.
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