*One Question can help you Predict your Chances of Success in the work you’re doing right now!*

By Shweta HandaGupta

Answer the question below to determine whether you can be successful or even happy in what you do.

Think of a number, a clear percentage.  But, first, let us step back a bit to understand this word – ‘strengths’. Strengths are not just things you do well, they’re more than that. If you change the tyre of your car a dozen times, you might become great at it but that doesn’t necessarily make changing tyres your ‘strength’! :) Your strengths come to you naturally and when you identify, use and build them, you spontaneously produce better outcomes.

Alex Linley has defined a strength as a ‘capacity for a particular way of behaving, thinking, or feeling that is authentic and energising to the user, and enables optimal functioning, development and performance.‘  So, as you list down your strengths, I invite you to think of things that you are not just good at but things that also energize you, come easily to you and make you feel good. Think of qualities and characteristics not task level strengths.

Now that you have your strengths, think about the big question above – How much of your time are you spending doing things that involve your strengths? Most highly successful people I spoke to used about 70% of their time utilizing their strengths. Utilizing your strengths doesn’t mean staying in the comfort zone of doing things that come easily. It means identifying your strengths, building on them and using them most effectively to generate success.

Research by behavioural statisticians has found that people benefit more by improving what they are doing right vs. focussing on what they’re doing wrong. Unfortunately, we have become more and more focussed on identifying and working on weaknesses or more politically correct, our improvement areas! This, often at the expense of working on and celebrating our strengths.

I’d noticed many clients in my coaching sessions (ranging from young managers to corporate leaders) coming in with objectives related to improving an area they weren’t good at! I put up the following words on the wall where they could be seen

The results have been promising.

I do not suggest here that you completely ignore improvement areas for they might be coming in the way of your extracting the complete potential from your strengths. My suggestion is while you should be working on your weaknesses too but the amount of time you spend working on your strengths should be significantly more!

And if you are living a life or pursuing a career that cannot utilize your strengths and instead needs you to focus on improving and building many things which you don’t have, you’re probably in a place where your chances of success are very slim!



  1. Apr 23, 2014

    keshavan kasturi


    Hi Shweta,

    Very nice that you shared such a powerful thought. I can readily identify myself in the process and probably realign.

    best wishes.

    K. Kasturi


    • Apr 27, 2014

      Shweta HandaGupta


      Thank you K. Kasturi. Glad you found this useful :)

      Warm Regards


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