Your strengths and weaknesses – Do you know what they are? How would you work on them to improve yourself if you did? Where is your energy best spent?
We all have a natural predisposition for certain things. A foot we kick with or a hand we write with. We us our preferred side the majority of the time. Writing with both hands has a slight advantage but is not necessarily required.
So the question is what’s best… one hand or two?
Your strengths are known, funnily enough they are usually the things you enjoy doing, they may even be your passions. I wonder why this is – do we enjoy them because we are good at them or are we good at them because we enjoy them and therefore spend more time doing them? Probably both – a loop.
Generally, your weaknesses are things you don’t enjoy – using those skills or doing that type of work just doesn’t feel good, it doesn’t feel natural. I dread doing most of the things I struggle with.
A thought excercise – what about if you focused on supercharging your strengths rather than working on your weaknesses. It is much more powerful and sustainable to make yourself amazing at what you enjoy and have a natural perpensity to be excellent at.
You will see this everywhere you look – Warren Buffett is incredible at picking companies to invest in, Ronaldo a soccer genius and Leonardo DiCaprio a gifted actor. There are likely 2 or 3 skills that lend them to being special in these fields that they have honed and bettered over time. Most successful people are flawed individuals who have worked incredibly hard to hone their 2 or 3 skills with intense focus.
There is fine print though! If one of your key weaknesses is one of the core skills needed to be successful in any field (communication for example), you must focus on this. Without these core assets you will not succeed. Come to think of it, you should always be working on your key skills, just get the balance right. I am trying an 80/20 split on improving on my strengths vs weaknesses and I feel it is paying dividends.
There are multiple ways to work on your weaknesses too – can you get someone else to handle that side of your life for you? Can a computer do it? Does it need to be done at all?
Try following this order for improving on the things you struggle with;
- Eliminate it
- Automate it
- Delegate it
- Work on it
Time is precious, so use it to do what will more likely bring you happiness and push you forward, with the least amount of resistance possible.
- Understand objectively what you are good at and what you struggle with – be honest
- Define what you enjoy and what you are unusually good at – this is a powerful combination
- Spend the majority of your time honing these strengths rather than improving your weaknesses – the exception is core skills.
- Make the space to improve these strengths by outsourcing the things you are not good at – eliminate it, automate it or delegate it.
- Use this space to work on your weaknesses in the important areas but focus more on improving your strengths
Where did I get these ideas? This blog is a combination of things I have read, heard, pondered, and in the end weaved together. At the end of each post I will do my best to provide some rough references, please let me know if I have made mistakes, as I most likely will;
- Richard Branson – Losing my Virginity
- Reid Hoffman – Masters of Scale Podcast
- Tim Ferriss – The Tim Ferriss Podcast
- The Snowball – Warren Buffett Biography
- Principles – Ray Dalio
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