Being ‘Well Rounded’ Is Overrated
At school, we have to be well rounded in order to succeed. Perhaps you’re a star in the arts, but struggle with the sciences. Well I’m afraid that’s not good enough, you better get your grades up in the sciences! The fact that science is not one of your strengths is irrelevant.
Take the same premise into the work place. When you have an appraisal, what are you told to build upon? Mostly, we get told to work on our ‘weaknesses’.
It’s not wrong to build upon your weaknesses but…
Those who excel in life, tend to focus on their strengths
Think about top artists in the music or film industry. The ones who have become legends in their own right. Do you think they were sitting there worrying about their sales and marketing skills? Did they want to become well rounded, or did they plough themselves into what they do best?
Business moguls will do the same. Richard Branson for example is known to declare that he’s not good at accounting and numbers, but he excels in leading a business and coming up with innovative ideas.
Did Usain Bolt set new world records by focussing on his planning skills in order to be a well-rounded individual, or did he put his energy whole heartedly into his running?
To excel, rather than trying to be a jack of all trades and master of none, focus on your strengths and be a master of them.
A strength is something you’re good at and something you enjoy
We all have a natural tendency towards certain areas, skills or crafts. That’s because we’re unique individuals and we’re meant to express our unique character and master the gifts we have been given. Not relegate them in order to focus on our weak areas.
The problem with trying to be well rounded is that we start focussing on things that are not in our natural repertoire of strengths. This puts us in one of three scenarios:
You’re not good at this thing, but you enjoy it.
You’re good at this thing, but you don’t enjoy it.
You’re not good at this thing and you don’t enjoy it either.
Which of these three do you think brings both happiness and success? None of them, right?
Find out what your strengths are
Try the free survey on the ‘Via Institute Of Character’ website. You might be surprised what you learn about yourself!
And instead of going straight to the bottom of the list and stressing about your weakest areas, look at the top five. What are they and do you use them every day? If not, how could you utilise them more?
Playing to your strengths increases overall wellbeing
The field of Positive Psychology researches the impact of character strengths on our wellbeing. It’s not just about using them to succeed in your career, it’s about succeeding in life, being truly happy and fulfilled. It’s about flourishing.
Our greatest desire is to ‘self-actualise’. This term, coined by Maslow in his hierarchy of human needs, is about the deepest desire in all of us to evolve and develop our true selves.
Your true self is in your repertoire of strengths, not your weakness.
So let go of this overrated idea that you need to be well rounded and therefore focus on your weaknesses. Find the golden gifts that are YOUR unique strengths and share them with the world.
We can’t wait to see what you can do.