What Should I Work On?
May 4, 2020
A few months back, I was in an interesting discussion with one of my Mentees. We were discussing the specific aspects one should focus on for personal development. The point of debate was about what areas if worked upon, would deliver the maximum leverage in terms of personal growth and personal effectiveness.
There are two dimensions to all of us when it relates to personal effectiveness.
- Areas of strength and Skill
- Areas of choice
There are some strengths and skills that define us thanks to some inherent giftedness, core talent, or DNA wiring. E.g., someone may be naturally numerate and analytical. Some others may be creative and artistically inclined. Someone else may be naturally athletic, while some others may be great at relationships.
Areas of choice, on the other hand, are aspects of personal behavior or habits. I am disorganized, but I was not born disorganized. It’s an area of choice. Similarly, I am lazy or hardworking; I come with a positive, neutral, or negative attitude, I am confident or timid, I am disciplined or undisciplined, I am focussed or distracted.
For you to derive the best leverage on personal development and growth, you should work on your weaknesses in areas of choice, while it is better to work on your strengths in areas of skill or giftedness.
In areas of strength and core skills, growth tends to be slow and very incremental, involving a lot of small improvements over time. I should, therefore, focus my efforts on those specific areas, which are my strengths rather than concentrating on trying to improve in areas of weakness, just because I have a desire to grow there. Someone is excellent at problem-solving and not very strategic. The person would do well in honing his or her problem-solving skills systematically rather than trying to improve weak strategic orientation.
In areas of choice, when I work on my weakness, I see immediate and massive improvement. If I decide to change my attitude to bring my best self to any activity, all it takes is a simple shift in my mindset. I can move from being a Zero to becoming a role model. Similarly, if I work on becoming more mindful and focussed at doing anything without getting distracted, my productivity and effectiveness can increase by order of magnitude.
Work on your weakness in areas of choice and your strengths in areas of skill- that’s the path to experiencing personal growth and maximizing potential !!