Earlier this summer, I had the great pleasure to travel to Florence, Italy, with my family. Walking the streets of this Renaissance city, you feel transported back in time. At every turn you see amazing architecture, such as the Duomo di Firenze by Filippo Brunelleschi. Walk into any church and your eyes feast upon beautiful stained glass. All the streets are extremely narrow and filled with original cobblestones, built long before there was even the thought of a mechanized vehicle.
However, my favorite experience was seeing Michelangelo’s statue of David. Pictures don’t capture the magnificence of this sculpture. Walking around him, you are mesmerized and perplexed at how anyone could carve such beauty. David makes you believe in the magic of art.
Luckily, we had a wonderful docent who told us endless stories of the true Michelangelo. One fact I did not know was that many scholars believe he was autistic. The evidence relates to his lack of personal hygiene and social skills. He had a very difficult time relating to people but an amazing ability to relate to marble.
The story of Michelangelo relates to the current philosophy of strength psychology, which posits that your success will come from a focus on what you are great at doing. You need to focus very little attention on your weaknesses, unless they hurt your success.
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Michelangelo focused completely on his strength of creativity, and it gave him legendary status. Unfortunately, many people in business spend too much time and energy in their weakness zone. For instance, I had a client who was president of a financial company and his strength was the “big picture.” He was a visionary. His weakness was the details and “nuts and bolts” of the operation. When he focused on the details of his company, he would become drained and grumpy. He disliked the details but thought he needed to be better at that aspect of his company.
With my advice, he finally agreed to let go of the details and hire someone to handle them.He became more energetic and positive, and his business began to explode.
Are you allowing your weaknesses to drain you and de-energize your days?
Let go of your weaknesses and focus on your strengths and you will turn your life into a masterpiece.
Dr. Gregg Steinberg is a professor of human performance at Austin Peay State University. He is author of the best-selling business book “Full Throttle” and speaks to businesses about improving attitude and performance. Learn more at www.drgreggsteinberg.com.