Friday, June 10, 2016

Self Improvement Mantra – Build on Your Strengths and Forget Your Weaknesses


Self Help Musings



If you have a natural talent for doing something – you will enjoy doing it.

My wife is good at parenting. 

She loves children. 

She enjoys parenting.

She enjoys playing with children and teaching them.

My wife likes doing these things because she has a natural aptitude for parenting and teaching children.

If you DO NOT 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.

She did not even know how to make Tea properly and I had to teach her how to make Tea.

My wife hates cooking because she does not have a natural aptitude for cooking.

I realised that my wife hates cooking.

But – 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.

My wife was good at handling children and she enjoyed it.

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

Seeing the way she brought up the dog  I knew that my wife loved parenting  and she 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. 

In fact  I sometimes say that she is a better mother than a wife.

The moral of the story is simple:

1. Give priority to doing things that you like to do

2. Avoid doing things that you do not like to do

You must focus your efforts at things that you are good at doing

And – you must forget about things that you are not good at doing.

Do not waste your time trying to improve yourself doing 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 doing 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 she 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 the meal) many days before the event.

Even if we rarely 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 children 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  we all possess some weaknesses.

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

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

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


(Not Recommended)

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 and shortcomings.

You tend to take for granted your good qualities  your plus points and positive features  your skills and talents  your forte and strong points – and you do not bother about them.

Hence – you tend to neglect nurturing and building up our strengths

In your constant endeavour to overcome your weaknesses and correcty our imperfections  you ignore working on our good points.

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

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

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

You also see this same attitude with your parents, your teachers, your elders, your near and dear ones and well-wishers.

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 advice on how to overcome your weaknesses and correct your shortcomings.

This applies to parenting too.

Let us take an example.

Suppose your son is good in ARTS  but he is poor in MATHEMATICS.

What would you do?

Most likely  you would make him undergo Tuitions in Mathematics – and – you would make him put in Maximum Efforts in Mathematics.

Since time and effort are finite  it is obvious that your son would not be able to put in maximum best efforts in his favourite subject ARTS  since he is concentrating on MATHEMATICS.

The End Result:

1. It is unlikely that your son 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 Arts too – since he was busy focussing his efforts on Mathematics.

3. So – neither will he excel in Mathematics – nor will he achieve excellence in Arts.

Just imagine the end result if you had allowed your son to concentrate all his time and efforts on Arts  which he is good at – and he enjoys doing.



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

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

Yes  these individuals became great because they focused on their one main strength – and  they forgot about everything else.
They devoted all their energies to nurturing their forte  their strongest point.
Great Achievers just ignore their frailties  and they 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 is the way to excellence:


It works - you can take my word for it.


If you constantly worry about your faults and weaknesses  and you spend your internal resources and your entire effort trying to rectify your shortcomings – this will physically sap youdrain 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 that you are good at doing  and you will enjoy 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. 

You will always enjoys doing what you are good at doing  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 doing something that 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 the resources you expend.

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

Why slog at doing things that 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 your Weaknesses. 

Once you have forgotten about your faults, frailties, imperfections, shortcomings 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.

Instead  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 

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 your Self Improvement Resolution” right now:

“I will spend time doing things that I like to do.

I will try my best to avoid doing things that I do not like to do.

I will focus my efforts, time and resources on things I am good at and on things I enjoy doing.

I will not 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 do not like to do.

It works – you can take my word for it.  

Try this Self Improvement Mantra  and see the results for yourself.

Tell us of your experience  and let us know whether this self improvement mantra worked for you.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

1. This self improvement mantra is based on my personal experience. Please do your own due diligence before you use it on yourself.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

This is an updated, abridged and revised version on my lecture prepared 25 years ago in the 1990s and first posted on my blog on 08 March 2012 

No comments: