It’s not enough to focus on only the positive parts of yourself. The exceptional person identifies their weaknesses too. Without radical honesty about your limitations, you will always be their slave. Knowledge gives you the chance to improve your shortcomings or structure your life to avoid them. Know your weaknesses, but don’t trust them. Do not think you ignore them.
As it is with strengths, context gives every weakness its power. There are, for each of us, a thousand unseen weaknesses that never come into play in our lives because they aren’t relevant to how we live. You, like everyone else, cannot breathe underwater. You cannot lift a thousand pounds over your head. You will never know the end of knowledge in any specific domain that you study. You don’t complain about these things unless your life plays out in such a way that they impede your ability to get what you want. Already, you should see that there is a very narrow window of relevance through which you evaluate any of the so-called problems in your life.
Weaknesses can show up as anything. Test yourself in every domain that you can. Learn where your limits reside and decide for yourself how pertinent they really are to what you want in life. Keep them close to you, as you would any other vital information about your own wellbeing. If you are not mindful of your weaknesses, you will eventually suffer their consequences. They will lapse from your attention and you will be forced to confront their limiting effects. A man must befriend his shortcomings is he is to overcome them. Then he is their master once more.
There is no shame in being weak for a time. We all must compensate for countless personal inabilities. Indeed, calling attention to the things ordinary people ignore allows exceptional people to turn weaknesses into acquired strengths. Those who are naturally strong often overlook the significance of their strength. They never have a reason to learn about what they do because there is never any major pain or obstacle for them. They miss the power of harnessing pain.
Pain is like a spotlight. It calls attention to things routinely ignored. In the unskilled mind, this call for attention distracts. A skilled mind can focus the attention of pain onto the place where it originates, whether it be physical or emotional in origin. Now you are listening to what others do not hear. You have extra information to work with because of the pain you feel. Your weakness has enlightened you to new truths. What you do with this deeper understanding is up to you.
When you lack a natural faculty for something, you can attempt to compensate for it through analysis and subsequent adaptation. When you can understand, intellectually, the difference between where you are now and where you would like to be, you can reverse engineer the appropriate path that will allow you to traverse the gap before you. When you see someone who can do what you would like to be able to do, you can mentally map what they have done as a series of irreducibly simple principles. You can find the patterns behind their actions. Integrate this rules into your own mind and reason forward from there.
Not everything will be physically possible for you right away. You may need tools to make up for your biological shortcomings. Mankind has always been a toolmaking species. Do not hesitate to continue this noble human tradition. The tools we use become bridges for the gaps we cannot cross on our own. Your heightened awareness of the problem will be the key to overtaking those who never even realize the full potential of what they can do. This is how you create advantage from disadvantage in time. This is the power of your passion and your pain.
Most important is foreseeing where your weaknesses might become detrimental to the exceptional tasks you wish to define you. When you know from where you will derive your great purpose in your life, everything becomes about shaping your environment toward its end. Changing yourself to be better in a certain way because the world told you it was necessary becomes something of a cruel joke. You change your life and the space around you so that you can perform with greater efficiency your exceptional functions. All other weaknesses are irrelevant.