Focus On Your Strengths

We all have our unique strengths and it’s important to embrace them.

Forum member Chikito mentioned something very important to me last night on Facebook (add us all here): We should focus on our strengths more than our weaknesses. It’s human nature to think of the bad things in life, and it’s often said that you don’t appreciate the good things until they are gone. Well this article is going to change all that because I ask you to do one thing: Find and develop your strengths. When writing a CV or a letter to any educational position it’s important to put across your strengths. In all interviews they want to know what you’re good at, and the exact same applies to a dinner out with your partner. They don’t want to hear a wing about work, they want to hear what you’re good at!

So then, what are your skills? It could be anything, and there’s no answer too small or irrelevant. Are you good at socializing, dancing, photography, mathematics, car modifications or playing a musical instrument? Are you good at talking on the phone for hours at length? Are you good at choosing the correct clothes for different events? Perhaps your strength lies with an academic subject or a sport?

Do not focus so much on your weaknesses, for your weakness can be someone else’s strength. And it will be a greater strength in itself to work with this person.
Strengths tend to be grouped, so if you’re good at one thing it’s normally the case that you’ll share that gift for another similar activity. For example if you’re good at photography, then you’ll probably pick up film and graphic design relatively easily. If you’re good at talking, then you might be able to write influential speeches with a bit of practice. Being good at one thing tends to mean that you’re good at a whole host of activities – so find your strength and then you can develop many more. You like swimming? Then try wake boarding.

University

Once you have pinpointed exactly where your strengths lie, come up with all related activities. By trying these new things, you’re most likely to develop greater strengths and passion for this area of expertise. And the world needs specialists. This is the step-by-step process that nearly all University degree programmes go through: In the first year you study a broad subject including modules from all sub-disciplines. Then in the second year you choose to narrow it down a bit, and focus more on the sub-disciplines you enjoy. By the third or fourth year you have specialized into the sub-discipline that you have the greatest strength and passion for.


Business

In Business though, it’s good to flip this specialization around and continue to try out new branches. Air Asia‘s business guru Tony Fernandes is known to spend several days of the year trying out all aspects of the company such as being the Check-In Assistant, Baggage Handler and Aircraft Attendant. Having a wide knowledge and experience helps develop strong foundations on which to focus on your strengths.

Relationships

Attraction is built on the exchange of positive value. Your strengths are your positive value, and the more of it that you have to give the more attractive you are. If you talk about your weaknesses all the time, not only is it boring, it’s exchanging negative value. Imagine an Alpha Lion saying to his Mare, “Sweetheart, I can’t hunt, I can’t fight, and I can’t lead my brothers. But please stay with me.” Realise that you do have strengths and thus positive value to give and you are already one step ahead. Never think that what your strengths are aren’t attractive because this simply isn’t true. There are potential partners out there that love the same thing as you, no matter how specialist and bizarre (read – The Art Of Speaking Little and Saying a lot). Although your date loves you to have many strengths, don’t be blind your weaknesses. Being able to recognize and beware of your weaknesses is a strength in itself.

Comparative Advantage

Some people are just better suited to certain things. It may be due to nature or nurture it doesn’t matter. So if there is a particular subject you’re terrible at, don’t fret too much. There will be other people probably very close to you (as Forum member Tonatiuh8 explains here) who are good at these things, and it’d be of greater benefit to focus on learning how to communicate with them so that together you can be a team (read – The Importance Of Being On A Team!). There’s no point filling your brain with irrelevant information that you’re never going to use nor enjoy.