Yes, I can do a lot, but I cannot do everything I would like to do. I have my limitations. For instance — and I know this may sound childish — I would like to have a more flexible body, with a greater range of motion, so I could be able to do those yoga postures restfully, without striving. Mindfulness reminds me, “Here you are again, with your desires, with your cravings and aversions, with wanting this and not wanting that. Stop. Practice equanimity. Simply accept what is.”
Everyone is different. Each one of us is a different bundle of aggregated talents, attributes, skills, potentials and limitations.
I learned a great lesson from Tom Rath in his book “Strengths Finder 2.0.” He referred to it as “a misguided maxim.” He said that one of the most damaging things we can tell our children is, “You can be anything you want to be, if you just try hard enough.”
The reality is that not everyone can be a Michael Jordan, or a Muhammad Ali, or a Pele, or a Michael Phelps, or an Einstein. A much more honest and less damaging advice is, “You cannot be anything you want to be — but you can be a lot more of who you already are. You can develop your innate talents, and excel in what you already are good at.”
We help our children succeed when our main focus is not on developing their weaknesses, but on maximizing their strengths.
Our fault is that we keep trying to develop weaknesses. We invest a lot of time in developing what we — or our children, teammates, co-workers, etc. — are not good at, and not so much in what we enjoy doing and already are good at. We hear a lot people saying things such as, “You’re failing in algebra. You need some extra classes.” We rarely, if ever, hear someone saying, “You write so well, express yourself so precisely, and have such a rich vocabulary. I will hire a tutor to further enhance your writing and speaking proficiency.”
It is evident that we need to give attention to both weaknesses and strengths, but wouldn’t it make more sense to invest more time, resources, and energy to develop further what we already are good at?
Wouldn’t it make more sense to develop our strengths?
Let’s stay in touch.
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/peacefulways
Take a look at my books at the Peaceful Ways online store
– “Peaceful Ways – The Power of Making Your Wishes Come True”
– “Pay Attention! Be Alert! Discovering Your Route to Happiness”
– “Silent Peace Walk”