I want you to take a minute and answer for yourself: what are my three biggest weaknesses and my three biggest strengths? For many of us, naming our weaknesses will be easier to identify than naming our strengths.

In life, we are constantly bombarded with various types of messages all pointing out that we need to focus on improving our weaknesses. Our coaches tell us how we need to improve the way we hit the ball; our math teacher gives us all the formulas we need to memorize; our music instructor lets us know how we need to improve our intonation. Every day, people all around us tell us of our shortcomings that need improvement.

Before I go any further, let me make one thing clear: improving our weaknesses is a laudable goal. There are many areas in life that at the very least demand a basic understanding. Concepts like communicating in public, basic math skills, and organizational skills will be important regardless of whatever career choices you make in life. Improving these types of weakness will deliver massive dividends. I believe, however, that we have a natural tendency to focus too much on our weaknesses, forgetting about the qualities that help make us standout: our strengths!

To illustrate this, let me give a quick illustration. Let’s compare me, someone with absolutely no natural football abilities whatsoever and compare me with an awesome quarterback like Russell Wilson. For the next year, I could spend every waking hour of every day focusing on my passing skills, running strategies, and other quarterback techniques. At the end of the year, while my skills will have improved considerably, compare me to Russell Wilson, and I guarantee you that my skills will still pale in comparison. Certainly, there are better things that I could have done with all that time I spent on football like working on the areas where I have a natural ability and making my strengths even stronger.

At the end of the day, everything has a time cost to it. In the same amount of time and energy to take something from mediocre to average, we can also take something from great to phenomenal. Improving your weaknesses is great, but don’t neglect your strengths!

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