Inventory check list time.
List the number of things you are great at doing.
Now list the number of things you are good at doing.
Thirdly, list the number of things you are at least average or slightly above average at doing.
Add up the list. Leave that number on the one side of the page.
Now, add the number of things you are not great, good or slightly above average at doing. And finally, memorize this feeling. Take for example my friend Raj. He is fluent in 24 languages which is truly amazing. 24 languages. Here is another way of saying it, he knows 24 languages but has no clue how to speak the remaining 6,676 known languages currently being spoken on beautiful planet Earth. Puts a new twist on things now doesn’t it.
For most people, they are great at maybe 4 or 5 different tasks. They are good at another half-dozen and at or slightly above the average line at a dozen or so. Add the numbers and it is, at best, a bit on the humbling side, particularly when you look at the other side of the ledger. 30 versus ad infinitum?! Rough numbers.
Hold on, take a breath and let’s change the game plan a bit. Allow me to illustrate with a bit of my history.
About 15 years ago, I had a very popular radio show in South Florida. It was consistently rated at or near the top for several years and one of the reasons was my co-host Kaye. Kaye had a remarkable talent for consistently asking questions that featured my strengthens and skills and either deflecting or reframing questions to spoke to my weaknesses. When a question came in the radio station asking about organic chemistry (most definitely NOT a strength of mine) for example, with in 20 seconds, somehow, some way, Kaye would be asking the “same” question about herbal medicine or a meridian or which of the 5 elements best fit the callers’ personality.
I am continually asked by people how to lose weight or help get rid of a habit or uncover the underlying meaning of why they are doing a certain behavior. My reply is pretty standard — It does not matter why, it only matters what you are doing now. By the way, what is something you are great at doing? Let’s feature it.
Most people after the initial confusion, respond extremely well to this. You are impatient? There are 2 main options:
- Spend the next decade or 2 or longer, doing your very best to become patient (or at least less impatient) and you may become competent. Or you may improve to a degree. Maybe. . . . .
- Or, let’s say you are great at being compassionate. How can you find innovative and creative ways of using compassion in situations when you are typically impatient. Perhaps focusing on the other individual, his or her needs and what they are truly wanting from you will allow compassion to be featured. In the process, a person typically finds that, much to their surprise, Patience “slipped in the back door” so to speak. They featured a strength and it open the metaphorical door for other attributes to flow through.
It has been my experience that when you feature a strength versus trying to “fix” or uncover some deep, dark secret meaning that the desired results are always experienced and done so in a peaceful, flowing manner.
We are filling with seemingly countless flaw, faults, quirks, errors and the like and it is the amalgamation of these blemishes that make us what we are — imperfectly Perfect!