I have a son that is extremely competitive. So much so that if he is not good at a sport, for example, he doesn’t want to play at all. Watching him play soccer, baseball, basketball, football, etc., it is always the same. He practices, listens to his coaches, works hard, and every time he gets better. Sometimes when he’s having a hard time with something, I have to remind him that when he practices, he does get better.
I have been thinking of this in terms of my strengths and weaknesses. In both cases, I need to practice to get better. I have learned that it’s most effective to give most of my time and attention to improve in areas of my strength. I am very good at thinking analytically. This comes naturally to me, but I can still practice. I am constantly looking to see how I can be more efficient. I can allow myself more time to think about things, I can read and research in the areas I want to improve. I can make the most of available technology. The point is that I can obtain great results practicing and improving in areas of my strength.
I have written on small talk previously. I realize this is not one of my strengths, but yet it is necessary to get along and build relationships. I have definitely gotten better at this through practice. However, while practice allows me to get a little better, I will never be great in this area. So I will practice, get better, but not spend as much time in areas of weakness as I will in strengths.
“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”
–Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics