Over the weekend, I had the privilege to have a conversation with Mavis Lee, one of our newly certified StrengthsTransform™ Youth Developers, to get to know how knowing her Strengths has changed the way she approaches life. Her life journey was tremendously inspiring and I wish to share it with the world, to empower youths who are looking to boost their self-esteem and motivation.
“Now all I want to do is to focus on developing my talent themes, unleash my true potential and be my own queen… and help people to do the same.”
What are your top 5 StrengthsFinder® talent themes?
What is StrengthsFinder® to you know?
To me, StrengthsFinder is like a life-changing mirror that reflects one’s authentic self and I believe that it is one of the best self-discovery tools to understand an individual.
Who are your inspirations in life?
I really admire individuals who thrive on life difficulties and devote their entire life to develop and coach people. I really enjoy reading books from Tony Robbins and Jim Rohn as I look up to them as great motivational speakers who change peoples’ lives with their words. In my life, I was extremely fortunate to meet life coaches like Hee Guan, who impart great life skills to people that he meets.
Can you share with me more about your school days?
Polytechnic Days: Searching for Direction
Since [my polytechnic] days, I have always tried to figure out my life purpose and career direction, and always contemplate on whether Accountancy (my diploma course) is the right path for me. I never had an answer… even if I had countless sleepless nights from my reflections. Like many others, I went on to NTU to pursue further education in Accountancy because I thought it was a practical/versatile course which provides me with a wide range of career options relating to business.
University Days and Afterward: The Period of Being Lost
On my endeavour to excellence during university days, I attempted to value-add to project work as much as I [could]. I often became demoralized when I saw people being able to excel in certain areas which I couldn’t – as a result, I directed a lot of my energy to work on my weaknesses.
The end result was that I was mentally drained and had very low confidence in my abilities.
As I pursued my dreams… After a trip to South Africa for an international competition, I discovered my life purpose – I felt so strongly about being in a career which I can make a direct difference in people’s lives.I decided to give up on a stable job opportunity at one of the Big 4 which I have previously secured. However, as I start the journey, I started to lose faith in myself. Partly due to personal circumstances, family pressure and mainly because of the countless realization, I became very fixated on my weaknesses.That was also when I discovered StrengthsFinder, and got in touch with Hee Guan and got to develop myself through StrengthsTransform™ Youth Developer Certification.
Describe to us some of the peak performance experiences in your life.
It happened during the second year of my university which we were tasked to deliver a persuasive speech in class to persuade the management to hire the visually handicapped in the company.Confidence in Public Speaking has always been something that I have attempted to improve on– ever since I blanked out for one of the major presentations after putting in tremendous efforts to prepare. My self-esteem plummeted as a result and I only dared to look at the whiteboard when I presented tutorial in class subsequently. (I have even tried [working] in customer service during the summers to fix this problem.) I remembered my lecturer affirmed me after that presentation, “Mavis, you did so well in portraying the feelings, I can totally feel it. And you have improved so much since the first class!”
And I aced the project!
Through StrengthsFinder, I got to know how my talent themes play a part in helping me achieve this peak performance:
- Restorative: I managed to think of solutions to solve my problems.
- Empathy: I am able to feel very deeply about the life of a visually handicapped individual and portray the feeling well during my presentation.
- Futuristic: I am able to see into the technical aspect to convince the audience on the likely positive outcomes in the future if they were to hire a visually handicapped individual.
- Individualization: I am able to see each person as a unique individual and develop strategies to ensure that everyone has their equal rights in life.
- Input: I am able to impart information that I have collected through intensive research to my peers.
Moving forward, how will knowing your strengths transform the way you approach your life?
Coincidentally & fortunately, I am able to utilize all of 5 talent themes in my current endeavors. Going forward, I’ll definitely tap into my strengths so as to value-add to other people as much as I can. Restoring confidence in people through:
- [Becoming a] Wellness Coach – Focusing on helping people to shape up and to reach their optimum physiological health
- [Becoming an] OA Tutor – Currently teaching 2 F9 Graders
- [Maintaining a] Personal Blog – I’ve always wanted to set up one, with the aim to impart resources to value-add to other people
- Coaching Youths
In the past, I [was] fixated on helping others overcome their weaknesses. However, today, I focus on finding out each individual’s strengths and coach them to utilize them to their best ability!
What else do you wish that youths today would have an insight on?
I wish they will be aware that everyone has unique gifts. This is very empowering especially for students that may not perform well academically.Their gifts are elsewhere, and should be developed the way they are and not be molding them to the societal norms!
If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its lifetime believing that it’s stupid.