limits and opportunities
“The only sin is mediocrity.”
— Martha Graham
Three weeks ago, Get Out There magazine launched the web series called 8% No Limit. My talented friend Lisa created the series, documenting the adventure of my other talented friend Rhonda, an ultra runner with 8% vision.
No limit is a misleading title, of course. We all have limits. The question is whether we choose to focus on them.
Last week, I spent three days in a Unique Abilities workshop with my colleagues at Precision Nutrition. Unique abilities, in this context, refer to your strengths, the things you are uniquely good at.
The purpose of the workshop was to identify each person’s unique abilities and help modify and re-design their role so as to spend more time working within those unique abilities. [Awesome, right?]
For example, if I am fantastic with videos, and suck at email, how can I change my work flow to spend more time on video, and less time on email? What are the opportunities I can explore? Can I re-envision my work differently? Can I collaborate with colleagues who complement my unique abilities with those of their own?
Notice the shift: away from working on your weaknesses and towards working on your strengths. If I am inherently not very good at a skill, all I can ever hope for is to become mediocre at that skill.
Seth Godin writes:
“We have limits. There are challenges, limited resources, people or organizations working against you. Your knee hurts, the boss is a jerk, the systems are down.
We have opportunities. There are opportunities, new sources of leverage and ideas just waiting to be embraced. You can share something, give something, make something better.
There are always limits, and there are always opportunities. The ones we rehearse and focus on are the ones that shape our attitude and our actions. How many times a day do you think about or announce the limits you face, the people who cannot be trusted, the problems that are weighing you down?
The problem with problems is that they always keep us from focusing on opportunities, on a chance to contribute and to make something better. Focus on our opportunities doesn’t mean the problems don’t exist, it merely means that we are far more likely to do something that matters.
Gratitude and opportunity create more of the same.”
Are you going to focus on the limits or the opportunities? Your strengths or your weaknesses? Which approach will serve you better? And finally, what are you going to do about it?