A list of my strengths and weaknesses, and what I am doing to overcome them.
My good friend (I hope it is not one-sided) Stuart Danker runs a newsletter, where he gives advice and talks about various topics. One such topic was obstacles and weaknesses. He asks the reader at the end to list their weaknesses as a reply.
I thought, why not actually turn this into a blog post? And here we are. But I decided to put my strengths here as well, because I believe if you don’t know your strengths, then you don’t know your weaknesses either.
First, what is a strength, and what is a weakness?
Strength is whatever you’re good at. This comes easy to you, without much effort. Think of those people who are just good at marketing their skills, or how that guy is good at math, and how some people are great at drawing.
Weakness is what you’re not good at. You have to struggle to understand and improve in this area, and it doesn’t come as easy to you compared to your strength. Some people are good at creating, but suck at marketing. Some people are great writers, but suck as painters. Some people are good at math, but they struggle to put their skills to use in real-world applications.
Now that we have established what, exactly is the strength and weakness, here are my own strengths and weaknesses.
Here’s a list of my weaknesses.
- I think too much: much like a chess player, I can get hung up on a certain line, calculating furiously, thinking about whether I should play it or not. Whereas sometimes, it is good to put down the calculator, and charge ahead.
- I can’t work on something unless it interests me: This has been a problem since my childhood. I had a lot of interest in music as a child, but it quickly dried up because people demanded that I sing for them all the time. Even my blog reflects it. Take a look around, you will find reviews of books in my favorite genres, articles about chess, and the only thing missing is the programming. And the only reason why I haven’t put that here is because most of my readers are not programmers. I wouldn’t want to confuse them.
- Independent: I like working alone, only asking for directions where you may just point me in a certain direction. I do not like it when someone tries to hand-hold me. If working on a team, this can prove to be a hindrance.
- Temper: This runs in my family. Both of my grandfathers have a temper; my mother has it, my sister has it, and I have it as well.
- I tend to get depressed when I think about blindness: Admittedly, I don’t like to talk about this. It took a lot of convincing of myself to write it here. But each time I think about what opportunities I have lost, and the rejections I have faced, am facing right now, and will face in the future, it depresses the hell out of me.
- I use my workaholic nature to run from my life: You might think that being a workaholic is the greatest thing, given how a lot of CEOs promote this view. But let me tell you. This isn’t good, nor is it good to use your workaholic nature to run from life’s problems.
- Hesitation: I kind of feel that I can’t speak out my thoughts, and put my opinions in front of other people.
Here are the things I’m good at.
- I think too much: I could have changed the phrasing to something like “I think before taking a decision.” But I feel it would not present my point successfully. The thing is, planning for your future moves can be a double-edged sword. It is true that sometimes you have to move before thinking too much. But in a lot of the cases, you will avoid a lot of hardships by thinking in advance.
- Patience: I am very patient when it comes to results. Provided, that there is a possibility of results. I don’t abandon a thing in the middle, as I have been learning Japanese since 2018 (I admit, it is slow going. But when you’re teaching a language yourself, you shouldn’t go to fast), and of course, running this blog. Running a blog takes patience; there is a reason why abandoned blogs outnumber running ones on the internet.
- A love of learning: I love learning new things. Whether that be bits of history, or knowing how things work, I just love knowing why things are the way they are. The answer “It has always been like that.” Does not satisfy me.
- I take criticism well: To everyone who has ever criticized me on my work, I have never reacted harshly. As long as your criticism is genuine, and isn’t designed to hurt me, I will always try to listen to your advice, and improve myself.
- I don’t give up easily: It takes days, weeks, and sometimes even months (or years) for me to give up on something. By that point, it is clear that this thing isn’t going to work out. I would like to say that I don’t give up on something until the end of my life, but the reality is, you have to draw the line somewhere. Which leads me to my next point.
- I am very pragmatic: Given my life with a disability, having a realistic and practical attitude has served me well in my general life. And it serves me well in my work. Because reality doesn’t care about anyone’s dreams or emotions.
So, what steps have I taken to improve my weaknesses?
Ah, finally to the point of this article. I didn’t think it would turn out so large. Here are the steps I have taken to improve my weaknesses:
- The first weakness is a double-edged sword, and I can’t improve it much unless I’m willing to throw myself in chaotic situations. So, the improvement is not good in that area. Not a good start, I must admit.
- For the second weakness, I’ve been working on it since my childhood; otherwise I wouldn’t have passed school at all. Because not everything was interesting to me at school (Okay. I lied. I spent my school years in a disinterested haze. They just failed to stimulate my mind completely.)
- For the third one, it is a work in progress. Generally, I keep my thoughts to myself while working on a team, and unless specifically asked for, I don’t interfere much in the discussions. Unless the team is going in a catastrophic direction.
- For the fourth one, I’ve been working on my temper since my teenage years. I dare say all those meditation sessions helped me a lot, and now I have a better temper than my sister. This is the reason why I take the criticisms so well. If I had a bad temper, it would have been hard to hear or read criticism of my work.
- I am not sure how to approach the fifth weakness. Maybe as I go through life, success at certain things will give me confidence? But for now, I just shove it in a corner of my mind, and try to forget about it.
- For the sixth weakness, I needed to acknowledge something about myself. I’m very easily given to workaholism. Meaning, it is easy for myself to drown in work, and not even realize it. I have started to take walks to combat this, take a walk in the house, talk to the family members instead of disconnecting from them entirely.
- For the seventh one, I have started to work on it already. The written communication has already improved, after all, how would I run a blog otherwise? Now, the next step will be to improve my in-person communication skills.
So those were my weaknesses and strengths, and the steps I have taken to work on my weaknesses. Did you enjoy this article? Let me know in the comments below. You can follow me on Twitter.