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Opening Arguments

Slow down, fault finder

Why it's not a good idea to get obsessed about correcting your faults:

To really differentiate yourself in this winner-take-all world, you should be focusing on improving your strengths, not your weaknesses.

[. . .]

People who focus on their faults can eventually improve them to a point where they are no longer obstacles, but doing so will not propel them to success.  A better strategy is to focus on one or two of the things at which you excel and hone those skills or talents to the point of excellence. Working on your faults might help you make a living, but honing your talents may help you change the world.  

Almost impossible to pull off, I agree, since "self-help" books are all aimed at fault correction instead of talent enhancement, and we're all more or less programmed to make those stupid New Year's resoutions. But the author here is right about how to go from good to great.

The essence of that approach is at the root of the best advice I've ever seen on how to choose your life's work, from the book "A Mathematician's Apology" by G.H. Hardy. He said you should select what you're best at doing, not what you think you'd most enjoy doing. And not what you do better than a certain number of other people, but what you can do better than anything else you can do. Then, at a lifetime of working at it, you'll get better and better at it. And feel fulfilled, which is about as close to happiness you can get in the working life.

Posted in: Current events