Thursday, October 1, 2015

Strengths and Weaknesses

Some thoughts I jotted down:

Nature - what we are

Potential - what we can become

Strengths - key capabilities that can be enhanced

Weaknesses - what we must struggle with

Weaknesses can either be overcome or accepted.  We must understand and deal with what can and can’t be changed.  Example: a blind person shouldn’t keep trying to see.  What is necessary is to accept the blindness and adjust accordingly.  But a shy person can become more outgoing, i.e., can adapt.  Issue: When should we accept the way we are versus doing something about it?

How do we deal with our own strengths and weaknesses?  Before retiring into writing when I held a day job, I set quarterly objectives with my employees, and then at the end of the quarter they did a self-assessment, and then I evaluated their performance.  At the end of the fiscal year we conducted an annual performance review, and I determined merit increases based on results.  What I found interesting was that the forms used and the inherent process focused on improving weaknesses—what deficiencies  and flaws needed to be overcome.
This is important because we all can improve.  In writing critique groups most of the feedback relates to things that don’t make sense, consistency errors and poorly worded sections.  For a novel to be readable and marketable, these things need to be fixed.

If I’m going to be a better husband, father, grandfather, pickleball player, writer what do I need to improve?

There is another side.  Strengths.  What are the things we do well that we should keep emphasizing and do even better?

I think in terms of a football analogy.  If I’m a coach, I may have a quarterback who is a good passer but a poor blocker.  Rather than focusing on improving his blocking skills, it is more productive to emphasize enhancing his passing skills.  Other positions require good blocking, but the team will benefit if the quarterback develops from a good to an excellent passer.  Focus on strengths and improve them further.

So it gets down to what’s required.  To be a better writer, I need to focus on my weaknesses because I have a lot of development to do.  In pickleball my weakness is lack of mobility because of my arthritic joints.  It doesn't pay for me to work on mobility.  I just need to accept it.  What I can do is focus on my strengths:  fast hands and good shots and continue to improve these.

So I need to keep a balance.  Overcome the weaknesses that prevent me from realizing my goals and focus on the strengths that will allow me to achieve my goals.

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