Don’t Waste Time On Things You’ll Never Be That Good At

Hey, you guys! Chuck here!

In his excellent book The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferris discusses emphasizing strengths and ignoring weaknesses. In the book he states that; “It is far more lucrative and fun to leverage your strengths instead of attempting to fix all the chinks in your armor. The choice is between multiplication of results using strengths or incremental improvement fixing weaknesses that will, at best, become mediocre. Focus on better use of your best weapons instead of constant repair.”

In short; don’t waste time on things you’ll never be that good at!

In the last two posts I’ve discussed how the lesson we were supposed to take away from 2016 is that none of us understand any of this. We especially don’t understand politics. We can kind of understand it at the local level. But, we don’t understand it at the state level. We don’t understand it at the national level. And we sure as heck don’t understand it at the global level! And yet, a significant chunk of our time is spent debating politics on social media! We are spending a lot of time doing something that we’ll never be that good at!

In 2016 all of the the experts demonstrated that even they don’t understand what’s going on! Just watch this video of Fareed Zakaria being completely wrong about stuff! Zakaria is one of our country’s most brilliant political thinkers and he was completely wrong about all sorts of stuff! If Zakaria doesn’t understand any of this, your chances aren’t very good at all! And yet, we waste uncountable hours debating politics on social media. We could be using this time to focus on things that we could possibly be good at someday! You could be learning a new language or a new instrument. You could be working to acquire any number of skills! You will never understand politics, but maybe you could be a pretty good ventriloquist! You have no idea if repealing Obamacare is a good idea or not, but you could one day be fluent in Arabic! Don’t waste your precious time on things you’ll never be that good at!

Many years ago I recognized that I lacked something most other guitarists’ have. I would watch other guitarists on stage and notice that they had a steadiness and control that I seemed to lack. I recognized that there were certain things I would never be able to do on guitar. So instead I focused on guitar techniques which were more accommodating to my unique hand situation. I focused on techniques which presented a fun challenge and stayed away from techniques which I found frustrating. I developed a style of playing which became the envy of many musicians who had mastered techniques of which I was envious! Last October my suspicions were confirmed when I was diagnosed with a tremor in my left hand! No amount of practice was going to make me good at those guitar techniques which frustrated me and it’s a good thing I didn’t waste too much time practicing those techniques! Sometimes frustration is our brain’s way of telling us that something is simply beyond our grasp!  If you don’t believe me, just watch this video of me performing a Hank Williams song! Look at all of the fancy chords I play! This is what happens when you recognize your weaknesses and focus on your strengths instead!

So don’t waste time on things you’ll never be that good at and together we will have many successes in 2017! And if you have any questions or you have an idea for something you would like to see me write about on this blog, feel free to email me at my new high-energy email address!



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