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“If you want to get over your weaknesses then focus on your strengths” – A great Indian monk

Getting over a weakness is a great feeling. But it takes time. And we need a lot of strength during that time. Let’s say you want to beat alcohol addition. How would you get through the withdrawal phase? How would you bring yourself to say no when a friend offers you that brand of scotch you like? How to cope with not being invited to parties because you don’t drink anymore?

May be you love Tennis. You revived that old passion and it helped you take your mind off alcohol. You started hanging out with your old Tennis buddies again. And as a side effect it helped you loose that belly fat!

May be you are a smooth talker. You used that skill it to politely say no to your friend who offered the scotch. And you made him understand that you are trying to kick an addiction. As a side effect it may encourage that friend to kick his addiction as well.

Focus on your strengths. It gives you the energy to move forward. Strength is life 🙂

Lets say you want to become an expert in a programming language but starting from the scratch. Ask yourself what are my strengths? List them down and remind yourself everyday.

  1. I am good at solving problems in general. It makes me happy
  2. I can think out of the box for solutions
  3. I like learn just for the sake of learning. My curiosity often helps me be a good learner
  4. I am very good at math. It can help with certain aspects of being a programmer
  5. I have my own ways for effective learning
  6. I am full of ideas and creativity
  7. I can make any activity fun 🙂
  8. I get better everyday
  9. I can look at the big picture as well as the details
  10. I am full of insights

We can go on. You get the idea….

 

 

 

 

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I took a new role which is out of my comfort zone. And I have also read 5 really good books in the past 5 months that helped me get a very good perspective on life in general. I also gained insights into my personality, individuality and work styles. Here are some of the things I realized about myself in the past 2 months.

  1. I don’t work! I solve problems, come up with brilliant ideas and ask the right questions. I dealt with myself wrong all these years. When ever I pushed myself to ‘work’, it doesn’t work! I cannot just force myself to work. If I spend time defining a problem in my mind, I automatically spend enough time in solving it.
  2. Thinking drives my action. I need to first think clearly about something. Only after I have given something enough thought can I act on it. My best does not come when I have not spent enough time thinking.
  3. Patience is my strength and I can beat most people in it.
  4. I am more creative when I work by myself. I suck at collaboration. When collaborating, I just let other people do the talking.
  5. Meetings suck the life out of me(and most other people). Preparation is the key to having productive meetings at work. I suck at meetings if I am unprepared.
  6. I don’t enjoy big groups (unless there is good humor flowing around). I am more comfortable in small groups. I like to connect with people one-on-one and have meaningful conversations
  7. I can concentrate really well when the problem or task is clearly defined. Ill-defined phrases like ‘hard work’ do not make sense to me.
  8. I am not a detail oriented person. But can spend hours discussing ideas.
  9. Humor is one of the things that keeps me going. It is indispensable for living a sane life!
  10. I don’t like to control people. And I don’t like it when people try to control me. This is not a new realization. But I understood it more clearly.
  11. I am an introvert. I realized it a few years ago, but over the past few weeks realized the significance and the impact on my work style more and more.
  1. Do not be in a rush. Savor.
  2. Want to learn a new tool/technology/musical instrument. I am going to start with 10 little things about it each day. In a few days you will begin to see the bigger picture.
  3. Have a game plan to learning (like what this list is trying to convey). Not a goal or task. When the goal of completing this 400 page book tonight is on my mind – it is overwhelming.
  4. Overwhelming yourself is a recipe for failure. It defeats the purpose of wanting to learn. If I am chill about it, I might actually complete those 400 pages 🙂
  5. Learning a little bit each day cements the ideas in the long term memory. And you will not hate it.
  6. Steve Wozniak said patience was his biggest strength in learning.
  7. As you know more and more concepts, the pace of your learning will pick up automatically. You will not need to push.
  8. Learning slowly can feel meditative. It can relax you.
  9. Ask questions. It gets you engaged.
  10. Try to predict what is coming up in the next few pages (or in the upcoming lecture. You get the point). This creates curiosity and prepares you to absorb the material.

Learning by rote is not useless. Any learning is learning!

As a kid I always argued on the contrary. It took me a long time to understand the subtle benefits. It improves and exercises my memory.

Critical thinking is very important and a crucial part of learning. But learning by rote is just a different side of learning. They both do not have a conflict!

One reason I hated it as a kid was because it was boring. But if you pick interesting and difficult things to memorize, it can be quite absorbing!

So, go find the poem you like….