What do you focus on?

When it comes to our personal development we can focus on improving our strengths or we can focus on improving our weaknesses.

There have been times of my life I have focused on improving my weaknesses.

There was Spanish while I was in high school. I believe that was the only time in my life I brought home an F on a progress report (your grade at the mid point of a semester). It was one of the more challenging tasks of my high school career to pass that course.

There was baseball in middle school. I wasn’t bad, I was AWFUL! I practiced and practiced and PRACTICED. And I still stunk. Combine to that I was TERRIFIED every single time I got in front of the crowd (more on this with a later post).

I don’t tend to socialize well in a crowd of people I don’t know. So in college there was a time I decided I needed to start going to more parties so I could learn to socialize better. Let’s just say that didn’t work very well.

There are other instances in my life were I tried and take a weakness and turn it into a strength. In all of my efforts I can only think of one case where that weakness was actually turned into a strength. In all other cases I spent  A LOT of effort and went through A LOT of emotional pain to try and turn a weakness into a strength.

I have recently learned a better way to approach self development. And that is to focus our efforts on our strengths. We can devote hours upon hours to improving a weakness and still just bring that weakness up to the mediocre level.  Or maybe we get lucky and bring it up to the average level.

The last time I checked people are not willing to pay very much for mediocre or average. Nor are people likely to be influenced by or remember mediocre or average. If they do, it’s usually only for a short time and then only to complain.

However, if we spend the same number of hours on the areas in which we are naturally gifted by God we can take something that we are good at and turn it into greatness.

People will pay for greatness. People will talk about greatness. People will remember greatness.

Remember, we can spend our effort and energy on our weaknesses and bring them up to a level that is unremarkable. Or we can spend that same effort and energy and turn our strengths into something remarkable, something few people could even dream of achieving. Which way will you choose?


About Ivan Bickett

I want to help people see that there is a better way to conduct business and life. If I can help, let me know.
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6 Responses to What do you focus on?

  1. Deb Ingino says:

    You have just shared one of the foundational keys for growth. Whether it’s a business or an individual, leading with our strengths is the key.
    Great post!

    • Ivan Bickett says:

      Deb, this post is BECAUSE OF YOU! What you’ve taught me about myself and how to work from my strengths… I’ll go so far as to say A Better Way of Business wouldn’t be here without what you’ve done for me. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.


  2. Kristy says:

    I like this post; I needed to hear that this week. 🙂 Thanks!

  3. Ivan Bickett says:

    Kristy, I think you should check out Deb’s (she commented above) site: http://www.mywiredstyle.com/

    Specifically check out the personality profile she offers. Deb LITERALLY painted a picture of me, WITHOUT EVER HAVING MET ME, by analyzing my DISC assessment and my Strength Finder’s 2.0 assessment (here’s the book here: http://www.amazon.com/StrengthsFinder-2-0-Tom-Rath/dp/159562015X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1314189415&sr=8-1)

    Without Deb’s help I wouldn’t be doing this. And I think she can help you, too!


  4. Chris Sutton says:

    Those who have the tenacity to focus on strengths early in life are always paired with a great mentor. It’s a contrarian approach and requires lots of support.

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