It’s very important that you always strive to improve in all areas of your life. You want to be happier, healthier and more successful today than you were yesterday. If you’re not satisfied with how you are doing at work, then the onus is on you to land that promotion, get that raise, or grow your business. If you are not happy with your level of physical fitness, then it is up to you to get to the gym, watch what you eat, and maintain a healthier lifestyle. There is always something that you can improve in your life.
A Better Sense of Direction
The motivation here, you see, is not to reach some unreachable finish line. It’s about the journey and without some sort of goal in mind, it’s hard to have a sense of direction. The fascinating thing is that with this constant striving for personal betterment, the majority of us look at our weaknesses and how we can bring them at least up to the par with the mass populace. Ironically, this may not be the best strategy.
Think about this for a moment. Some of the best athletes in the world would make terrible nuclear physicists, just as the world’s most renowned nuclear physicists probably wouldn’t make it in professional sports. To be truly successful and satisfied with their lives, these people focused on their strengths rather than their weaknesses. Michael Jordan is arguably the best basketball player that ever lived. The basketball court is his arena, his area of expertise. When he tried to work on a weaker area (baseball), he fell flat on his face.
The Difference Between Mediocrity and Excellence
Typically, when you focus on your weakest areas, the best you can hope for is to become average. And you’ll have to work really hard to just be average. If you are terrible at math, there’s very little chance that you will be successful with a career teaching university-level mathematics.
On the other hand, when you focus on your strengths, you can go from being good at something to being absolutely exceptional at it. It could be something for which you already have a natural gift, so it just needs a little coaxing and a little coaching to be pushed to the next level. For the same amount of work that it would take you to go from poor to mediocre in one of your weakest areas, you can go from good to great in one of your stronger areas.
Myself, I not only enjoy writing, but I like to believe that I do a decent job at it too. Through practice and hard work, I’ve managed to hone this set of skills to the level where I can make a decent living from it. Some other people may not be the best writers, but they are more savvy in the area of Internet marketing. It’s unlikely that I would be able to achieve the same level of expertise in the area of Internet marketing as some of these gurus, and at the same time, it’s unlikely that they would be able to become fantastic writers as well. Different skill sets for different people.
Jack of All Trades, But…
You cannot be all things to all people. Furthermore, it is impossible to be an expert in everything. It is far more lucrative (and satisfying) to be exceptionally good in a couple of select areas, because you will come to be known for that. You never hear about the people who are “kind of good” at a number of different things, but you do hear about people who are exceptionally excellent in one or two areas. We remember Wayne Gretzky for hockey and Albert Einstein for physics. We don’t remember John Doe for his myriad of mediocre skills.
As cliche as it may sound, being a jack of all trades only means that you will inevitably be a master of none. By focusing on your strengths instead of your weaknesses, you will not only be happier and healthier; you might even become masterful.