Do We Need to Compensate for Our Weaknesses?

I don’t attempt to compensate for my weakness because the term compensate implies an exchange based on needed something extra to make up for something else. 

I seek to understand, anticipate and address my weaknesses through effective risk management, decision making and critical reflection.

Weakness on its own is not a ‘deficiency’ or something to hide or be ashamed of. When combined with actions that are ill conceived, weakness manifests and has potentially negative outcomes.

When dealt with appropriately, weakness is part of a state of being that offers one a route map to avoid and one to follow. 

How can some view weakness as a strength?

This is all about perception, bottom line and resilience, top line.

Perception first:

Using the famous SWOT analysis as an analogy for one’s life, how we handle decisions, changes and circumstances more or less dictates how we navigate through our years. By using the SWOT model you can start to see that a strength is relative to the opportunity and threat that coexist with it. Strength therefore, doesn’t live in isolation of the other elements of the model. Weakness is exactly the same. Weakness is relative to opportunity and threat too. Now here’s the cool part;

By understanding your strengths you can isolate your weaknesses and in doing so, put a plan in place to develop one and negate the overall effects of the other. If you ignore your weaknesses, they can only be linked to your threats, but if you acknowledge them and work on them, they become part of your life’s toolkit and not just something others can attack you with.

Now to Resilience:

Dealing with and managing weaknesses is by no means an easy win. This is where you have to show insight, foresight and hindsight. Insight, because you understand who you are, foresight because you are aware of how you need to be to progress and hindsight, because you’ve seen the effect of this issue in the past.

Ironically….

Insight+foresight +hindsight = Resilience

Weakness therefore is something you manage as opposed to something you are exposed by or help captive by. You control it, it doesn’t control you. 

Do I Develop My Strengths and Improve My Weaknesses?

 

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For me this is not the way I approach the issue, but I do understand the question premise.

I deal with it this way….

I value my strengths and apply them to my life in the best way possible, knowing that sometimes it may not work out. In doing so, the amount of value I have for my strengths starts to turn into a desire to know them better as each day comes and goes.

For me therefore, knowing my strengths helps me value them, which indirectly provides a base for them to develop alongside my own personal development.

In terms of weaknesses, I see them as reminders of what happens when I don’t know/understand my strengths properly. For me, they are reminders o my fallibility, humanity and self. If I am cognisant of my strengths, it means I am aware of my weaknesses. Together, they stay in a symbiotic relationship and therefore do not need to duel with each other as ‘good and bad’, but as siblings trying to be raised the best way.

#personaldevelopment #self #change

What is the Meaning of Training?

 

person carrying black barbell

There are some words thrown about nowadays that take on a life of their own, independent of the meanings, symbolism and accepted traditional understandings. Before we get into today’s topic, let’s provide some examples of these words;

  • News
  • Diversity 
  • Inclusion 
  • Mindfulness
  • Coaching
  • Training 

There are many more, but our focus today is the last one on this list, training. The aim of this piece is to explore the term ‘training’ and its;

  • Implied meaning
  • Classical / Traditional meaning
  • Linked meaning (contemporary context)
  • Changing Meaning

Implied Meaning

Use of the word training implies various and some diverse meanings. These end up creating a vacuum between the word and the symbolism attached to the implications. The vacuum is created because of the nature of the implied meanings. Let’s break some of these down;

  • Training implies some form of action
  • Training implies some form of routine
  • Training implies some form or organised behaviour 
  • Training implies some form of outcome

It can appear, as a result of these implied meanings, that training is therefore always associated with action and outcome by way of routine or organised behaviour. Is there not any challenge to these implied meanings or some other way of understanding the word?

Classical / Traditional Meaning 

The most obvious association between the word training and historical developments of its meaning are linked to;

  • Learning
  • Education
  • Skill Development
  • Craft and Trade

With the decline of manufacturing and industrial societies, the emphasis on learning has remained but it has also shifted slightly to the realm of ‘development’, especially as a result of the rise in the schools of psychology, sociology and social theory. The emergence of ‘self-enquiry’ and understanding human behaviour has led to more and more ‘shift’ in the meanings of the word training. It now houses both cognitive and behavioural elements of meaning to its overall understanding. The focus is now more on the role of training as a developmental and assessment tool and less on the classic model of training being something that is imparted. It is now something associated with intention, motivation, behaviour and context. It is more about understanding than it is about learning.

Linked Meaning

In contemporary society and the age of ‘digital reality’, the meaning behind the term training has shifted even further to include;

  • Any action that suggests (however slightly) that one is doing something new
  • This does not include explicitly the idea that the ‘doing’ is linked to ‘learning’
  • The muddy terrain in between projection and reality means the understanding of the word is now open to the context it is used in and not the meaning given to it form its origins (opening a social media account can be called ‘training’ and so can what a professional athlete does on daily basis)

Changing Meaning

It is clear therefore, that the word training has changed, evolved and even mutated. What is means has become a more individualised and intention heavy practice. Almost anything can be classified as ‘training’ if someone is able to provide an account from a point of inception to the point of outcome (start/ end).

Well…what do we do now?

I’d like to throw my ten pence into the ring.

‘Training is about any thought, intention or action that either improves, assists or provides a different way to approach an issue.’

To train is to embark and to learn is to know that we never really and truly disembark from the journey once we start it.

Training is therefore away to learn. It can be anything and somewhat surreally, nothing. 

#training #performance #lifecoaching #personaldevelopment

Glamour and Character

It takes a certain type of journey or path to build character. Often it is the less desired route one must take into order start to appreciate the more serene efforts of success and achievement. That is not to say that once you reach your destination, the effort can stop or that character is not required. What is evident from history is that the more difficult the path, the greater the character building and once the path is easier, then a different type of character is needed; an appreciative one.

What’s Wrong With Being Real?

man wearing white virtual reality goggles
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We live in a world that is constantly moving the boundaries between reality and fantasy. We are almost at the point where the two have merged into an ever-present networked, interconnected and ubiquitous sensory ‘rush’. People are quick to point out that they have the ‘right’ to define ‘real’ as they see fit, but you see the trouble with this is that if what you have defined as your ‘real’ doesn’t then manifest that way, your sense of loss, despair and hopelessness is generally ‘off the scale’.

This sounds serious no? I mean, you are bombarded with narratives, images and social norms that condition your mind to accept that being real is now connected to being anything at any given time. Being real could be thinking you can climb a mountain while sitting on your couch, it could be sailing around the world from your bed or being a movie star from your desk at work. Our imaginations have always been powerful arbiters of our desires, dreams and ambitions. There is nothing wrong with that at all, but what happens when external forces start to wrestle away our sense of imagination and replace it with what they think we are thinking? 

Artificial intelligence is artificial for a reason. Virtual reality is virtual for a reason. Our perception is linked to our personal experience and our perspective is shaped through this perception and that of the external world around us. There is very little left in our digitally controlled world that reminds our conscience of what the attributes of the word ‘real’ are anymore. Somewhat ironically, the conscience is the only unlimited gift we posses and it’s the exact thing that brands, products, advertisers and corporations are all chasing us for. The conscience expands as our understanding of realisation does and this is what is linked to the concept of self-actualisation. Therefore, the conscience is tied to the self and the self is our most powerful tool in our own hands. When this tool is at the mercy of external influences, its configuration (perception, awareness, hope, fear, doubt, certainty, pain, love etc.) is no longer managed by what is ‘real’. It is instead managed by a complex network of subtle and sustained influences that over time combine to form a ‘pseudo-conscience’.

If this all getting a little too ‘Star Trek’, then let’s bring to the ‘real’ (gotta love the irony). Ask yourself, what is ‘hype’ and what is ‘real’. Hype is what you build around something. Real is what you build, feel, sense, touch, taste, understand, know and be part of. You can of course be ‘part’ of hype, but what happens when hype wear off? This is the difference between ‘real’ as lived and understood by your own conscience and ‘real’ as sent to you by algorithms and hype. Real is what you are when you attach only the appropriate value to things as opposed to trying to ‘add value’ to things for the sake of it. Real is a state of mind. Real is a state of being at one with reality and perception. Real is the part of you that knows ‘you’ the best. Everything else is trying to convince you that ‘real is not really’ in your hand’s at all…this leave me to ask the question…are you real?

You May Be Someone Else’s Purpose…

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There may be someone directly or indirectly involved in your personal or professional life that needs you to be you and stay you. By this what is meant is simple; someone may find purpose in you. Purpose is often misunderstood as a concept and an even less well understood as a reality. At its most brutally simple, purpose is about why you do what you do. At its most complex it is the foundation of someone’s reality and journey. How then can someone else find purpose (simple or complex) in another?

The answer lies in the relationship between wants and needs. This may seem strange at first, but upon closer inspection, wants and needs are in fact interwoven with the idea of purpose. It is through learning what we want and what we need that we tend to end up with an idea about our sense of purpose. The issue that can arise is whether or not the purpose we have found is the actual one that will benefit us over time. When we engage and build understanding with others, a host of underlying issues come into play. Some of these are intention, action, awareness, want, need, motivation and situation to name a few. We can sometimes unknowingly project some of these onto others and as a result end up in an unofficial inter-dependent relationship. What we do and who we are can become a type of beacon to another who for a variety of reasons may be seeking the exact form of influence or direction that your own actions may be exhibiting. Both parties may never fully acknowledge this influence, but it slowly starts to take shape and as it does wants and needs start to converge into common understanding and expectations. 

This is why life can never be described as a linear journey. Life is a constant tangent of ups and downs, change and adjustment. It is during just such a journey that others grab a momentary sample of your essence. This ‘force’ becomes something that attracts deep lying needs and emotions in others that cause them to recognise your ‘flow’ and actually be overtly or subtlety drawn to ‘it’ through you. The key here is to understand for your own wellbeing and everyday life, what the actual intention behind this convergence may be. Naturally, some may be drawn to you for reasons that may cause you harm or negative outcomes and others for positive and life affirming reasons. This is where you have an important realisation to try and come to. You need to develop a sense of awareness as to what your own purpose is in order to then project the best elements of this purpose to the wider world. You see, what you project about you is at the same time projecting a part of your purpose as an individual. Be mindful of what you’re projecting and that way you will also know what is worth protecting. Purpose can be shared, but it can’t always be spared if used in the wrong way.