If you’re serious about personal growth and development, you need to start getting focused on your strengths. Identifying what your strengths are and building your life based on them is in my mind essential for success in life.
You need to identify what you do best, and do more of it. Identify what you do worst, and stop doing it. Quite an easy formula for success I’d say.
I at most, devote twenty percent of my energy to minimize the impact of my weaknesses, but use the other eighty percent to build my strengths so that my limits become immaterial.
The phrase, “leverage your strengths” has become popular in the language of modern day psychology.
A strength is “an activity that makes you feel strong.” It is an activity where the doing of it invigorates you. Before you do it, you find yourself instinctively looking forward to it. While you are doing it you don’t struggle to concentrate, but instead you become so immersed that time speeds up and you lose yourself in the present moment. And after you are finished doing it, you feel authentic, connected to the best parts of who you really are. Marcus Buckingham
We all have weaknesses! Our natural areas of weakness will never in their own right allow us to excel and it is not possible for us to be happy doing the things we don’t do very well.
“Live in terms of your strong points. Magnify them. Let your weaknesses shrivel up and die from lack of nourishment”. William Young Elliott
But when we focus on our strengths, we maximise our time, and find we always have boundless energy and the drive to stick with things no matter what challenges we face. You will notice that, in general, “time flies” when you are in flow. Very simply, you are in “flow” when you are doing the tasks that are leveraging your strengths.
I want to be a pro-blogger. When I think of people who have excelled in business, like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Donald Trump, Richard Branson, and in my field of Personal Development Anthony Robbins, they all have something in common, they excel in something and they have become known as specialists in that area.
That area of specialisation has brought them recognition, reward and unbound opportunities. Their strengths are what differentiate them from others. They continually focus on building their strengths and communicating these to the people that matter to them.
There is no doubt that John Chow, Darren Rowse, Yaro Starak, Zac Johnson, and Jeremy Schoemaker, are awesome pro bloggers. They have built amazing businesses around their individual strengths. Of course being that they’re human they also have weaknesses but like all people at the top of their professions they have filled these gaps with other people performing certain tasks for them.
When you’re starting out, you do everything. When I started my blog I was busting my tail to build it, writing loads of content, reaching out to attract traffic, building my social network, improving my blog’s layout and doing everything it took to build a blog.
When I was doing the parts that focused on my strengths, this work just kept filling me with energy. I could go on and on. Hour after hour would pass but I was so into what I was doing it felt like minutes. When you do the work that you’re good at, you just love it, and it comes so easy to you.
Other tasks, the one’s you’re not so good at wear you down. Time drags and you’d rather be doing anything than what you are. Often the results are nowhere as good as they should be.
Once I found my business partner Neil everything changed for the better. He is energised by the tasks that exhaust and deplete me. He loves everything that goes with SEO, coding, programming, the technical stuff, he excels at it. So he works to his strengths, and me to mine. The results are slowly but surely showing we have the right formula, and we’re having so much fun working to our strengths.
So I totally believe in the concept of working on my strengths and managing my weaknesses. The only thing you can do consistently and with excellence is something you really love to do. To enjoy life and reap the greatest rewards life has to offer, you have to follow your passions, and do what you’re best at … and that’s work on your strengths.
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will”. Mohandas Gandhi
Here is a question you should ask yourself:
Have I organised my life around my strengths?
One of the people I admire is Sir Richard Branson. He has achieved what he has by having an extremely positive outlook and a steely determination to work to his strengths not allowing his dyslexia to impose limits on him that could hold him back.
“It is important as a dyslexic that you don’t spend energy worrying about what you can’t do but instead figure out what you can do and make sure you do it well,” Richard Branson
So find your strengths and admit your weaknesses. Then determine how you can apply them in your work and in your life. When you use your personal strengths to make a positive contribution to others you’ll be most successful and productive.
• Do more of what’s working well.
• Do more of what energizes and strengthens you.
• Do more of what others admire about you.
• Do more of what you can do better than anyone else.
Your greatest successes will come from placing yourself in a position where your strengths can meet opportunities that arise. Maximising your strengths leads to greater productivity and happiness.
“Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person”. Albert Einstein
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Good points as ever mate, how about if what your good at saps the life out of ya sometimes and you dream of a mundane employment your not good at. Do you persevere? or find something your good at but less draining (not very likely in my case)
Charles – it would sound that you need somehow to strike a balance. But yes key ingredient is pesistence and perserverence. One day you will find your way out of chaos
Very good points. You have to have the opportunity’s. Most of us are in job that we don’t like but with this economy where can you go? Have to make a living.
Debi, i totaaly understand what you are saying. In our current economic climate those in employment recieving a stable income our deemed as the fortunate ones. And you will do anything to hang on to what you have got. There is a compromise. I started blogging and building an online business while managing and working in my ‘proper’ job. By working this extra time but on something you are passionate about doesn’t feel like a chore, and the time cxomes where you may find yourself in the situation where you don’t need any longer your ‘proper’ job.
I agree that to some point that we need to use the skills that make us who we are … but at some point in time the weakness will catch up… What then. Are we just sweeping the weakness under the rug until it hits us in the face?
Just by admitting our weakness … wont make it go away… but if we work on it it will become stronger turning it into a positive…
Savira. I am not saying that you hide your weaknesses under the carpet and ignore them. What i’m saying is only spend a small amount of your time on them, but a majority on your strengths. I have never found anyone that can turn their weannesses totally around, but i’ve seen many that can build upon their strengths. Nobody can be perfect, so we have to accept our weaknesses and enhance our strengths.
great points Larry,we do need to work on our sore points no matter how tough it may be,or hard hitting.
Alpana, yes work on your weaknesses for a bit of your time, but concentrate on your strengths alot more so you can blossom
Been there, done that. Long ago, I chucked in a corporate career after realising I had other talents and skills. And the stress of working in management just wasn’t worth it. Chucked it in, started making shoes in my garage, …and never looked back. I think sometimes many are just scared of the unknown, and need to tke stock of themselves, as you say, and base their life on what they are good at.
Jim ‘I think sometimes many are just scared of the unknown’ is such a brilliant comment’. you are a glowing example of what opportunities are waiting for us. You just neeed to take the bull by the horns and go for it. Scarey, but your passions often can help you achieve anything.
Some great advice in this post Larry! Thanks for another inspiring read. Your posts always encourage me to try that much harder…your very motivating!
Jessica thank you for your kind loving words and your FAITH in me
Larry, I always walk away from your site with another little tip… little pointer …
Debbie as long as you walk away with your head up, breathing in control, feeling like you can change the world, then i’ll be happy
Oh …. tweeted … stumbled… digged and liked 🙂
Debbie i digg you too, lol
A great post again Larry. To be able to concentrate and work around your strength and accept your weaknesses…that’s something I need to do more often. Thank you for sharing this.
Rimly any time
Great post and I like the way you define strengths and weaknesses. My weakness is sales whereas I can work on graphic design, art, and blog writing for …. well… forever. My problem is that I’ve yet to find someone that can fill the sales role for my business successfully. It’s great that you have been able to find a partner to balance out your strengths. Thanks for sharing! ~ Suerae
Suerae – everything comes to those that wait. Neil came into my life just at the right time. The right ‘sales’ orientated person is out there, just keep your eyes open until they reveal themselves.