I listened to an interview a few months back between Daniel Pink and Dr. Mehmet Oz, on XM Radio. It was a good one. Daniel Pink mentioned that in the United States we tend to focus more on our weaknesses rather than our strengths. According to Pink, we do this in many areas, from how we look at grade reports to how we evaluate ourselves. Often times, we let our strengths lay dormant while we madly pursue improvement on the things we aren’t inherently good at.
Why is that? Is it our constant quest for perfection? Or is it our fear of missing out on something if we’re not prepared for everything?
Culturally, we’re missing the point. We all have strengths and we all have weaknesses. Success and happiness are not determined by how hard we work on our weaknesses. Rather, they are determined by what we make of our strengths.
Are you making the most of your strengths? Or are you on the sidelines, still trying to fit square pegs into round holes?
Personally, I’m somewhere in the middle. I am making the most of my strengths, certainly. But I’m also unwilling to make peace with the things I’m not good at. I have a fear that if I accept my weaknesses and let them be, I’m somehow giving up and that doesn’t sit well with me.
I guess that’s a cultural inheritance I will have to overcome because as I look at this now I see that I, too, am missing the point. Spending time fretting over weakness and imperfection steals away precious time and energy from the things that have the greatest capacity for impact.