If you spend too much time working on your weaknesses, all you end up with is a lot of strong weaknesses. - Dan Sullivan
I suppose it all depends on what “too much time” means. But this seems to me a very odd quote. Given that the vast majority of us are not “excellent” in the sense of 99th percentile in the vast majority of things we do, we COULD spend a lot of time developing what we are good at and maybe improve ourselves marginally.
Spending time on things that you are NOT good at seems to have the greatest potential for increasing our overall situation. I’m not particularly good at getting to the gym or sticking to my diet. I AM very good at my job. I supposed that I could spend a LOT of time improving on how I do my job and I’m sure that I’d get marginally better.
But aren’t I going to get a TON more bang for my buck if I work on NOT being bad at exercising?
The devil is in the details, but this quote strikes me as not being all that “true” — perhaps its tongue in cheek?
Actually, this is about something more specific. I think what Dan means is there are some things we are naturally strong at, and some things that we are naturally poor at. Think about traits and characteristics and inclinations. For example, some people are really strong with communicating verbally, and some people are more natural at picking up on details. You can learn to be a better speaker and how to debate, but if you aren’t natural at it, if you don’t love it already, it will always take effort and motivation to overcome your natural inclination to avoid it.
If the score was tied and it was down to the last few seconds of the game, Shaquille O’Neal was far more likely to go for the layup instead of the 3-pointer because when it gets to the wire, he’s going to naturally fall back on his strength rather than a very practiced weakness (though many would wonder if he bothered to practice 3-pointers much at all). Your instinct goes naturally to your strengths first.
So what Dan is saying is that instead of working on those weaknesses, we would better serve ourselves and others to really hone our strengths, because those are our gifts and those are the things we want to do given the choice anyway.
Being clear, Dan’s not talking about things like sticking to a diet or exercising. These are habits. He’s talking about your internal ticking; the bits that make you special and unique in the world.
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