“Guided by our parents, our teachers, our managers and by psychology’s fascination with pathology, we become experts in our weaknesses and spend our lives trying to repair these flaws, while our strengths lie dormant and neglected.”
Hmmm. That one made me stop and think for a few minutes. How true it is, for me at least. Lately I’ve been finding myself examining my weaknesses and trying to go about correcting them. I don’t want to do anything poorly.
The thing is, those “weaknesses” don’t affect my ability to perform well. If I focused the same effort toward improving my strengths, the net result would be a more productive Scott than if I continue trying to improve my weaknesses.
Of course, there are, and always will be, some weaknesses that need improving. There will always be new things to learn, better ways to do things, and mistakes to correct. But the balance of trying to not do anything poorly keeping me from really excelling at what I am already good at — it’s keeping me from becoming an expert.
I’ve always thought to myself, “I don’t have to be the best at Topic X, but I don’t want to be the worst.” Perhaps what I should have been thinking was, “Since I want to be the best at Topic A, I’m not going to really worry about Topics X, Y or Z anymore, and it doesn’t matter if I am the worst at those.” I just have to learn to accept that it’s OK if I suck at some things, as long as that allows me to excel at others.
The whole concept is not new to me — I’ve even blogged about it before. Related conversations might discuss specialization, niches, long-tail, Purple Cow, etc. Sometimes, more important than something being said is the way it’s said.
Hmmm. I like that sentence, so I’ll quote myself now to make it stand out more:
Sometimes, more important than something being said is the way it’s said.
(I’m not sure what the rules are for quoting yourself from within the same context as the original quote. Just in case, I’ll mention that I found this quote here.)
But I suppose that diversion will take us away from my actual topic here, so I’ll have to come back to that another day.
So anyway, I’m going to try to update the filters, and only concentrate on the important stuff.
There you go, about a dozen paragraphs to tell you that I’m going to try to focus on something. I guess that just shows that one of my weaknesses is knowing when to be verbose and when to not be verbose. 🙂