Strengths and Happiness Part I: How Strengths Help You Live Your Purpose

What are you good at?

What energizes you?

What motivates you to achieve your big goals?

Welcome to strengths!

Strengths are a major component of positive psychology, the science of what makes life worth living.  The strengths-based approach of positive psychology helps individuals to identify and focus on the positive aspects of their lives. In fact, research demonstrates that identifying and using your strengths enhances your capacity for greater well-being and happiness.

One key aspect of well-being and happiness is finding and living your life purpose. You can do this by setting and working towards meaningful goals. Strengths provide the energy to help you work towards your big goals and live your life purpose. Thus, strengths and purpose are closely linked and set the stage for experiencing well-being.

Purpose, Meaningful Goals, and Strengths

Let’s start with purpose. Purpose is the intersection of your passions, your strengths, and your way of serving others.  It is how you contribute your best qualities to connect with the people you most care about and serve the world to make it a better place.

Moreover, purpose is essential to your well-being and happiness.  Under Tal Ben-Shahar’s SPIRE model of happiness, the first of the five components of well-being is spiritual well-being. A key principle of spiritual well-being is finding meaning and purpose in life.

When you know your purpose, you can then set meaningful goals. These are goals that you pursue out of deep personal conviction because you find them significant and also enjoyable.  Meaningful goals are ones that you want to pursue as opposed to those that you feel you have to pursue. As such, you are intrinsically motivated to work towards these goals.   And strengths provide the fuel for the journey toward meaningful goals, purpose, and happiness.

In this post, I will share my experience with strengths and purpose and how strengths inspire me to work towards my meaningful goals and live my sense of purpose.

My Life Purpose

My life purpose centers on bringing more creativity and happiness into the world. A few years ago, I developed my life purpose statement using this 4-step process.

“The purpose of my life is to expertly, passionately, and generously inspire and empower joy and flow so that together, we spread creativity and happiness throughout the world.”

My Meaningful Goal

Through my study of the science of happiness at Tal Ben-Shahar’s Happiness Studies Academy (“HSA”), I have deepened my understanding of how to help others experience greater happiness and well-being.    My area of interest is the performing arts and I have set the following goal:

To help leaders in the performing arts experience greater happiness and fulfillment in their professional and personal lives.  

This goal feels deeply meaningful and fills me with joy, since it helps me to live my purpose of spreading spread creativity and happiness!  Thanks to my strengths, I have the tools and the energizers to motivate and inspire me to make my goal a reality—and to keep me on the path toward purpose.

My Strengths

The first step in strengths work is to identify your strengths. One excellent assessment is  Gallup’s Clifton Strengths Assessment. This assessment identifies the natural talents that help you perform at your best.  Here are my top five Clifton Strengths:

  1. Strategic

Individuals with this strength excel at finding patterns, conceiving of new ways to see or do things, and generating the best options, with innovation, originality, and resourcefulness.

  1. Individualization

Individuals with this strength focus on the unique qualities and strengths of each person to bring out the best in others.

  1. Learner

Individuals with this strength are passionate about learning and constantly challenge themselves to keep learning more and be on the cutting edge.

  1. Positivity

Individuals with this strength have contagious enthusiasm and optimism that inspires others to feel better.

  1. Maximizer

Individuals with this strength stimulate personal and group excellence in order to transform something strong into something superb.


Using My Strengths To Achieve My Meaningful Goal and Purpose

These strengths are invaluable assets to help me achieve my goal of helping leaders in the performing arts experience greater happiness and fulfillment in their professional and personal lives. To do so, I have created, and am delivering, a series of workshops for arts leaders on how to apply the SPIRE model to their leadership and to their lives.  I also blog about SPIRE and leadership in the arts.  Moreover, I share the SPIRE principles in my individual and group coaching sessions.

My top five strengths have been and continue to be indispensable in helping me carry out these projects.


My learner strength motivated me to study the science of happiness and to become a certified happiness facilitator through HSA. I continue to study happiness by reading, researching, participating in group discussions with fellow HSA graduates, and attending webinars to make sure that I am keeping up to date on the latest developments in this field.


I have generated happiness workshops that are tailored to the arts community. I also use this strength in my coaching sessions to share my knowledge with individual clients who may benefit from research-based happiness interventions.

Strategic Thinking:

Strategic thinking helps me develop new ways of teaching happiness. It also inspires me to share my thoughts through blogging and speaking. In addition, I journal frequently to sketch out ideas, discover patterns, and explore how to put ideas together in coherent, clear, and novel ways.


I absolutely love the science of happiness!  I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and inspiring others to find greater happiness and fulfillment in their lives. By doing so, I hope to generate optimism in those with whom I interact.


I love helping people to go from “good” to “great”. That’s why teaching and coaching are such a great fit for me.  I also hope that my writing helps others to gain insights that can help them to grow and improve.  Finally, I use maximizer to inspire my own journey of constant improvement!

Bottom Line on Strengths, Purpose, and Happiness:

In short, by using my strengths to achieve my goal of spreading greater happiness and fulfillment to leaders in the performing arts, I am truly living my purpose. And it feels great!


Action Steps:

  1. Take the Clifton strengths assessment.
  2. Create your life purpose statement.
  3. Reflect on which of your strengths contribute to your sense of purpose.
  4. Set a meaningful goal.
  5. Use your strengths as you work towards that goal.


Next time:

How strengths inspire happiness through the five SPIRE elements.