June 13, 2022

Like a camera, whatever we focus on, develops.


Here’s a helpful checklist for thinking about your weaknesses.

*Are they expensive, debilitating or dysfunctional?

*Does their negative impact outweigh the value of your strengths?

*And would correcting them help you grow and prosper?

If you get three no’s across the board, then stop worrying about them. Your weaknesses are simply included in the price of admission of being you.

They exist. They make you human. It’s important to be aware of them.

But if you want to make a real contribution to this world, then your energies are better focused on exploiting your talents.

Springsteen admitted in his memoir that he doesn’t have much of a voice. Range and durability, yes, but tonal beauty and finesse, no. Bruce could rock five sets every night in a noisy, crowded bar, but his voice was never going to take anyone to higher ground.

That’s why he never hired a vocal coach. Boss knew his limitations, but then forgot about them and walked on. He exploited his unique strengths instead, like composing, storytelling, performing, connecting with fans and wearing really tight blue jeans.

Bruce summarized it perfectly:

The most important thing as a musician is how believable you could sound, and how deeply you could inhabit your song.

My favorite visual for a person’s weaknesses is to view each one of them like a little fire. Naturally, that flame has heat, energy and potential, and so, it’s smart to acknowledge its presence.

But if you starve it of oxygen, it will simply fade on its own. If you focus on your bigger, stronger and hotter flames, then their collective heat will vastly outweigh whatever minor spark those weakness would have produced.

This fire visual is appropriate because the whole phenomenon of human potential goes back to energy management. Anytime we put our intention and attention towards something, that underlying motivation is being strengthened, whether we like it or not.

Because energy is a neutral construct. Like a camera, whatever we focus on, develops.

People who get extraordinary results concentrate on further enhancing their areas of strength. They spend the absolute minimal amount of time acknowledging, understanding and acclimating their weaknesses.

Whereas people who get bad or zero results take what is poor and make it mediocre. They accidentally strengthen a negative quality, rather than investing their energy taking what is very good and make it amazing.

For people who are unsure of where to spend their time, money and energy, my recommendation is to start with where the flame is biggest and brightest.

Amplify the talent you already possess, forget about the tiny embers crackling in the ash, and go set yourself on fire.

How could you improve the working relationship you have with your talent?