No Human in the world is born with the talents. Allow me to give you a quick reminder by saying that human are conceived and born in a similar way. All of us have had our first cry when pediatrician gave a tiny little slap on our bums to check our well being at birth. From the first cry to last breath, we continue to learn and even keep on refining our learnings. Simpliciter, learning never stops and the very reason or root of this action is that none of us acquire all possible learnings at any given point in time, hence we keep on learning as we progress forward in life.
Learning does not have a restrictive meaning , its perception, value and usability does change with change of circumstances and situations. I consider learning as a dynamic property of humans. However, surprisingly reading self help books are still being considered as a taboo as if reader is lacking something in him/her ?. This strange interpretation of new learnings certainly surprises me. Let me assure you that these books do have tons of wisdom , self experiences jotted in writing and life lessons. These invaluable learnings can be straightway adopted for enhancing your productivity and cerebral happiness. If you ask me , there is very little difference between autobiography/biographies and Self-help reads. In fact both talk about certain real time realities faced By the individuals and also provide real time outlook from their perspective as a probable solutions. This is a direct help to enhance our learnings for better adaptability in future times.
This paradox blankets the self-help world. On one side, there is advice to stay as you are and let people like you the way you are ?. The other wants you to change yourself for the better.
However, paradoxically we still ask ourselves this question. Shall I improve myself or stay the way I am and let people decide whether they like me or not ?. Well , its not a question of someone liking you or not , but a question of maximising your strength and making progress in your weak areas. Someone asked me ? Which one is right? and Like the question itself, My answer was also paradoxical. You have to do both. You can be yourself by only cultivating your strengths and being okay with your weaknesses with a tag of ’keep on improving‘
But, we live in a society that doesn’t let us be okay. It constantly reminds us of the traits we lack and rarely miss an opportunity for doing do. It makes us to pursue the next ideal person while our strengths are neglected. They are ignored to such an extent that we start thinking only about the weaknesses. But the fact is that every person has a set of both. To be your best self, you need to take the time to cultivate your natural abilities.
1. Learn To Neglect Your Weakness Momentarily.
The most common rat race in the world is to improve on the stuff we are bad at. Right now, all your self-improvement goals probably revolve around the areas you can’t perform in. This irrational fixation happens because of two reasons. The first reason is that “Research has indicated that people believe their weaknesses are more changeable than their strengths”. Ironically, this belief is not entirely true. In reality, you make massive improvements in your life when you focus on your strengths.
The second reason is that “In your mind, your weaknesses are defining you”. You always think in terms of “I am not good enough.” It feels like people will criticise you for all the areas you can’t perform in.
But the truth is, once you excel in something, people ignore all other areas of your life. Trust me, nobody thinks that Newton should have been more extroverted Or Steve Jobs Behaviour should have been more rational. And social. Did you ever hear this ?Or Get to read more often ?, I can safely presume the answer as – ‘NO’.
Most of the time we walk around with Our self made measurement device along with a lens, as if we are only interested in measuring and seeing our weaknesses.
This doesn’t mean you can’t work on the weak traits. You can at some point balance them out. But that’s not where you should start. Your start should always be your strengths And along the way keep turning your weaknesses into strength one by one. When I say strengths, for most people nothing will come to mind. That’s okay, we aren’t trained to think along that line.
All this can change, with a simple personality test. The best personality test is the 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire. If you google it, you can find many sources that will allow you to take it for free. Do take out time to take this test yourself and honestly star working on the areas which you have identified.
Once you complete it, you will get a four-letter combination of your natural traits. I myself am an STJF — Sensor, Thinker, Judger and feeler.
Now that I look at my life, all of my success is primarily built upon these four. Similarly, you can build a life upon your special four. In my case, these strengths are developed. But remember, your strengths will be raw and take time. Remember :- Don’t compare your chapter one with someone’s chapter fifty-seven.
3. Identify One Skill and Develop A Core Competency Around It.
The quickest way to fail at your own progress is by working on all of your four-traits at once. You can only build one trait at a time.
Pick Your best trait + a tangible or complimenting skill around it. For example, if the trait is Intuitive (N), the skill can be something creative like drawing, music or writing. However, an easy hack to skip this is to google your personality type for its skills. Example: “skills for ENFJ” and you have some suggestions. You can pick the tangible skill that can help you in one life area. Most people pick one that helps their career. Once you have done that, you only need daily practice. Psychologists say the best way to get better at anything is to practice. Plus, if you get good enough at your skill, you will be able to enter into deep-states of flow. You will lose track of time and your performance will be enhanced. When you reach this stage, your weakness won’t matter.
Most people will live and leave without ever unlocking their full potential. They will live under the guilt of their weaknesses which makes them think they are good for nothing. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We all have immense potential and possibilities within us.
Once you begin to develop them, your life will become meaningful because you are doing what you are meant to do. You must give-up the self-hate for the areas you can’t perform in. Let your strengths define who you are. Your strengths are always there, waiting to be developed.