Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Self Help Musings

I have made my New Year Resolution for the year 2014:

“I will spend time doing things I like to do and try my best to avoid doing things I don’t like to do.

I will focus my efforts, time and resources on things I am good at, things I enjoy doing, rather than fritter away my energy, efforts, time and resources on doing things I am not good at doing and things that I hate doing.”

In fact, I will try and spend so much time doing what I like to do that I will have no time left to do what I don’t like to do


If you have a natural talent for doing something, most likely, you will enjoy doing it.

My wife is good at parenting. She loves children. She enjoys parenting and playing with children and teaching them.

If you don’t have a natural aptitude for doing something, you will hate doing it.

My wife is bad at cooking. She hates cooking food.

When we were newly married, my wife had zero knowledge about cooking – I had to teach her even how to make tea.

However, I noticed that my wife was good with children (though we did not have any children at the time of our marriage).

Whereas even cooking the simplest dish would cause her great stress, she could be very patient with even the most ill-behaved children and she was good at (and enjoyed) handling children.

We got a dog – a cute little 2 month old Lhasa Apso Puppy – as a wedding gift.

Seeing the way she brought up the dog, I knew that my loved parenting and would be good at bringing up children.

Soon we had children of our own.

Though I did not spell it out in so many words, I tacitly encouraged my wife to focus on parenting and forget about improving her culinary skills.

Even whatever little efforts she made towards improving her cooking was for the sake of our children – parenting was always her top priority and our children will agree with me when I say that my wife has certainly proved to be a very good parent. She is a better mother than a wife.

The moral of this story is that you should give priority doing things that you like to do and avoid doing things that you don’t like to do.

You must focus your efforts at things that you are good at doing and forget about things that you are not good at doing.

Do not waste your time trying to improve yourself at things for which you have no aptitude, because the results will not be commensurate with your efforts.

Instead, if you spend the same amount of effort at things for which you have the aptitude, you will get rich dividends.

My wife followed this principle.

Instead of wasting her time trying to learn how to cook, she nurtured her natural talent with children and has proved to be a excellent parent and accomplished teacher.

Even if she had put in ten times the effort in trying to learn cooking, I doubt whether she would have become a top-notch chef, simply because she hates cooking.

We avoided calling over people for dinner because my wife would start getting nightmares about cooking days before the event (even if rarely we did call someone, we tried to get food from outside, or I cooked the main dish and she managed the simple dishes).

In contrast, her efforts at parenting, caring for and teaching small children yielded rich dividends.


Every individual has some plus points or positive attributes.

Also, every individual has some negative attributes as well.

Yes, we all have some virtues and good qualities and we all have our faults and frailties

We all possess some strengths and some weaknesses.

You are good at some things and you are not so good at some things.

You have your virtues (good qualities) and your faults (bad qualities).

Close your eyes, introspect, and reflect on your strengths and weaknesses.


Most of us are excessively self-conscious about our weaknesses and we spend too much energy and resources in the process of trying to correct our imperfections.

You tend to take for granted your good qualities, our plus points and positive features, our skills and talents, our forte and strong points.

Hence we tend to neglect nurturing and building up our strengths. 

In our constant endeavour to overcome our weaknesses and correct our imperfections, we ignore working on our good points.

We do not spend enough effort in nurturing our strengths since most our our time and effort is spent on trying to remedy our so-called faults, frailties, imperfections and weaknesses 

This is because we keep thinking of our faults and weak points all the time and we take our plus-points for granted.

Sometimes, we become so obsessed with mitigating our weaknesses and shortcomings that we devote so much of our time, efforts and resources in trying to remedy our imperfections and we do not have any time, energy or inclination for improving upon our natural talents and strong points. 

You also see that your parents, your teachers, your elders, your near and dear ones.

Most of the time these well-meaning people tend to point out your shortcomings rather than appreciate your plus-points.

Everyone keeps giving you never-ending advise on how to overcome your weaknesses.

This applies to parenting too.

Let us take an example.

Suppose your son is good in humanities but poor in mathematics.

What would you do?

Most likely, you would make him undergo tuitions in mathematics, make him put in maximum efforts in mathematics, and since time and effort are finite, it is obvious that he would not be able to put in maximum efforts in humanities since he is concentrating on mathematics.

The end result:

1. It is unlikely that he would get top-notch marks in mathematics (since he does not have a basic aptitude for mathematics).

2. He will not be able to achieve his full potential in humanities too.

Just imagine the result if you had allowed him to concentrate all his time and efforts on humanities, which he is good at and enjoys doing.


Why not forget about our weaknesses, our imperfections, and focus all our efforts and resources on improving our strong points?

If you study the biographies of great persons you will realize that this has been their leitmotif.

Yes, these people became great because they focused on their one main strength and forgot about everything else.
They devoted all their energies to nurturing their forte, their strongest point.
Great Achievers just ignore their frailties and concentrate all their efforts on enhancing and bettering their strong points, boosting their forte, and this is the secret of how they achieve great heights. 

They do not fritter away all their energies on trying to rectify their weaknesses.

They apply these energies in improving their strengths to even higher levels.

So that’s the way to excellence:

nourish your strengths and ignore your weaknesses

It works - you can take my word for it.


Constantly worrying about your faults and weaknesses and expending your internal resources and focusing your entire effort trying to rectify your shortcomings will physically sap you, drain your emotional energy and demoralize you since you will never be able to achieve the desired results.

If you apply the same effort to improving your strengths the results will be much more encouraging and fruitful.

This is because working on improving your strengths and positive points will fill you with zest and enthusiasm since you will always enjoy working on something you are good at and doing something you like.

So even the results are sure to be encouraging and this will further raise your morale and fill you with cheer. 

One always enjoys doing what one is good at and the results will be commensurate too. 

On the contrary you are likely to become fatigued and disheartened doing something you are not good at doing or something you do not like to do. 

Hence, in such cases, the results will not be commensurate with the time and efforts you put in and resources you expend.

So why waste your valuable time, effort and resources in doing things which you are not good at doing and you do not like doing and which are not your true metier?


You must do two things:

1. Introspect and identify your strengths and weaknesses

2. Accept your weaknesses as they are and forget about them. 

Once you have forgotten about your faults, frailties, imperfections and weaknesses, just ignore them.

That is the key – you must accept your weaknesses as they are and forget about them. 

Do not waste your efforts, your resources and your energy on trying to overcome your shortcomings.

Now, concentrate all your efforts on reinforcing, enhancing and boosting your strengths

It is just not worth it to waste your energies and deplete your resources trying in vain to correct your shortcomings.

Instead, it would be much better to direct all your efforts and apply your resources on further enhancing and improving your plus-points.

As far as your so-called weaknesses and shortcomings are concerned, it is best to accept yourself as you are.

Keep thinking about your plus-points and do not waste your time thinking about your so-called flaws, blemishes and minus-points.

Just forget about your weaknesses and get them out of your mind.

Thinking good thoughts about your plus-points and positive attributes will make you feel good and confident.

Then, just focus all your efforts on improving your strengths and see yourself rise from strength to strength.

Make a New Year Resolution like I did, and promise yourself:

“You will spend time doing things you like to do and try your best to avoid doing things you don’t like to do.

You will focus your efforts, time and resources on things you are good at doing, things you enjoy doing, rather than fritter away your energies, efforts, time and resources on doing things you are not good at doing and things that you hate doing.”

Like I said, you must try and spend so much time doing what you like to do that you will have no time left to do what you don’t like to do!

It works - you can take my word for it.  

Try this self improvement mantra and see the results for yourself.

And do comment and tell us your experience and let us know whether this self improvement mantra worked for you.

Wish You a Happy New Year.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 

All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
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Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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