If I were to ask 100 people, “Is it better to work on your strengths or your weaknesses?” What do you think they would say? My guess is that the response would be about 60/40 in favor of working on weaknesses, if not more.
That could be why everyone’s so miserable. Have you ever made it a study to work on your weaknesses? I have. It sucks… bad. I’ve made many attempts at “getting organized.” In the 90s I was the proud owner of several high-priced Franklin Covey planners that sat empty in my office. Well, not quite empty, there were lots of cool block letter drawings of my name, a smattering of “ideas,” and phone numbers with no name attached.
The high-priced planners didn’t work, so I bought the first palm pilot. I think I spent more money on that than I did on my first car. At least I figured out how to use my first car! Many phones, personal assistants (if SIRI counts), and foolproof apps later, organization it is still a weakness of mine. I will never write a book on being organized.
What a rotten feeling it is to work on something like crazy only to become average at it! At that rate, I was never going to Narrow the Gap.
I can already hear some of you saying, “Well, I took a weakness and made it my greatest strength.” Here is what I say to you: What did you do with your greatest strength that you left in order to focus on that weakness? If you would have leveraged the strength you left, it would be otherworldly by now!
There are cases where weaknesses become strengths, but only if they also become your passion or you discover that it was a latent gift.
When I talk about a weakness, I mean the things that really bring you no joy or meaning. The reality is: We still need to do a lot of these things, but in many cases, they can be delegated to those who find them rewarding. In this case, they’ll also be done much better! That’s why it can be beneficial to marry your opposite. However, If you still have to perform your weaknesses, there are management techniques like “the hour of pain” where you schedule an hour (or however long it takes) to do the task. That way it’s not hanging around your subconscious like a dead carcass all day.
Your strengths distinguish you from everyone else. Channel more of those! There are many great tests out there to help you discover your strengths, but the best I’ve found is the Fascination Advantage. Our brain is attracted to different. People want to see, and learn from different. Give them what you’ve got. Work on discovering your strengths and you’ll unlock your own unique genius.