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Strengths and weaknesses

Photo by Stijn Swinnen on Unsplash

Nobody is perfect. If we label all our traits and characteristics, we will end up with some entries under 'Strengths' and some entries under 'weaknesses'.

We tend to look at strengths as something that we have, something that will be with us while weaknesses are something that need to be worked on and improved, voids that need to be filled.

We do the same when it comes to life. We identify some areas where things are going well for us and identify other areas where things aren't going so well for us.

What we do more often is to focus on the things that aren't going so well and invest time and energy in improving on those areas. We do acknowledge the things that are going well and agree that we should keep them that way. But when it comes to the share of mind and the effort we put in, we spend a disproportionately high amount of time thinking about the things that aren't going well, the weaknesses, the voids to be filled.

But quite often, the strengths and weaknesses turn out to be two sides of the same coin. We might be caring and courteous, which is a strength. And we might be less cutthroat, which is a weakness. But by trying to be more cutthroat, we might no longer be as caring or courteous.

It is easier to focus on what we don't have and working on improving those or attaining those. Because that is the natural thing to do. It is where room for improvement is higher. But when we start dedicating higher time and energy to attaining these, we begin to fail on the things that were going well, our strengths.

Focus on amplifying your strengths as much or more than you focus on overcoming weaknesses.

This is the rule of explore/exploit. Strengths are what we already have and we need to keep them that way and exploit them to our advantage. While weaknesses are something to acknowledge and to explore how we can get better at them.

And we should never be spending a lot of time exploring while not enough time exploiting.

The weekly routine that I've established for myself helps me identify when I'm going astray on this. If you don't have your own way of planning your days and weeks, you can write to me for details about mine. 

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