This advice is usually given so that students/children/teens won't feel bad. Often those people who are early in their career.
This advice assumes,
You know what your strengths are.
You know what your weaknesses are.
This is bullshit.
In the previous advice, 'Don't follow your passion', we have learned that it's better to become competent in any skill. The process would be a valuable source of your happiness.
And while learning, the process itself would be much more rewarding. You get to learn to be patient and be humble.
While I used to write, I would hate the process of it. My work suffered. But thank god I didn't quit writing.
While building any skill, you have a dip (from The Dip by Seth Godin) in any skill while you learning. The dip is that frustrating part where you most likely to quit. That down feeling. That border divides beginners from professionals.
Most people quit during that dip. And when they do, they call that skill their 'weakness.'
Minority who didn't quit. That skill becomes their 'strength.' Those are what we know are professionals.
So following what you generally like or have interest in is a good approach. But still, expose yourself to as many things as possible. Read books, study history, social studies, philosophy, human nature.
One of the most efficient way to study a lot of things deeply is the framework that I discussed in my previous article. You can read it from here.
If you find something good. Start working on that.
While finding something that you want to work on for a very long term. Finding your Ikigai is your way.
There is a difference between doing what you love + doing what you love and it's profitable.
I love eating Ice cream. but you won't pay me just for that. (Except I am Tom Cruise and you own an ice cream empire, but surprise surprise, I am not Tom Cruise.)
Ikigai is an amazing approach. This takes into consideration what you love doing, what you are good at, what world needs, and where the money is.
You should get the book (Ikigai by Albert Liebermann and Hector Garcia) or amazing free workshop by thefutur is great too.
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Don't ignore your weaknesses.
I am very weak in all these marketing and SEO (search engine optimization) work but I am constantly working on them. I am taking courses and reading books. Currently reading Perennial Seller by Ryan Holiday.
Your weakness in anything essential skill is a call for work. If a baby can't walk, he won't say, 'whoops, Looks like walking is my weakness.'
So what would be good advice?
Improve your strengths and work on your weaknesses.
"Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through." - Ira Glass
Photo by Rene Böhmer. Thanks mate!
Must watch this workshop by thefutur.