Don’t work on your weakness

Kaizen is the Japanese word for “good change” or improvement. The word has been adopted worldwide as a philosophy focused on “continuous improvement.” Continuous improvement is what we all want for ourselves. KaizenIf you don’t, you’re a pessimist and I’m going to ignore you because your opinion doesn’t matter. For those of us who want to make a sincere effort to improve (ourselves or some activity), we need to change our behaviour to get better results. Whatever you do, don’t work on your weakness. It’s a waste of time.

It’s simple, really: focus on your weakness and you focus your entire being on negative pursuits. Focus on your strengths, on the other hand, and you focus yourself on positive pursuits.

There is a human tendency to self-criticize and exaggerate one’s own shortcomings. Sometimes we make up shortcomings that aren’t even relevant just to have something to focus on, attempt to control and beat ourselves up about. Teenagers will look with burning envy at somebody else kissing their crush and instantly compare themselves with their rival to find things wrong with themselves. Being teenagers, they usually pick some irrelevant physical feature and obsess over it.

What’s the consequence of this weakness obsession? Pointless activity that wastes time. You are human (presumably) which means you have a time limit on your life. If you are spending time doing something that doesn’t help you while you’re alive, and will mean nothing to anybody else when you’re gone, it is a worthless activity.

Realize that your “weakness” is a judgment that comes either from your own flawed human psyche, or from others who want you to behave a certain way. Both work on your insecurities. Any effort to satisfy your insecurities is a Sisyphean task. Trying to fix your source of insecurity is like trying to fill an in infinitely deep hole one shovel load of dirt at a time. No matter how much dirt you shovel, the hole is still infinite. Your insecurities are wrong, and anyone who makes you focus on your weakness is projecting his self-loathing onto you. Ignore your insecurities and they will just wither away.

The best reason for not improving your weakness is that it doesn’t exist. We only think it exists because we’re told there is a right and wrong way to do things. Why? Because we’re born into a world of rules made by people who came before us. Most of those people are dead. They tell us that a particular activity is important and it’s done using a certain technique, so you’re judged on how well you copy the technique. If you fall short in your performance, it’s blamed on your weakness and you’re told to improve upon it. Really? So, a bunch of dead people gets to dictate how I am supposed to do everything?

In this photo, Charles B. Tripp is using his toes to hold utensils because he has no arms. He has good reason for following the rules of stepdancing.

In this photo, Charles B. Tripp is using his toes to hold utensils because he has no arms. He has good reason for following the rules of stepdancing.

This is how a lot of silly etiquette rules come about and why Irish stepdancers don’t move their arms. Look, if you want to live your life that way, it’s fine. Go ahead and do that. I want to move my arms.

I don’t believe in weakness. As soon as I don’t believe in weakness, it doesn’t exist. And there is absolutely no negative consequence to this belief system. There is no right or wrong way to do anything. You choose a goal that you want to accomplish and you find your way to achieve it. Use your strengths to reach your goal. Find the way that works for you. The faster the better. Like I said, life, as you know it is ticking down and you don’t know when the final buzzer is going to end this game.

Besides, working with your strengths is a lot more fun. Don’t you want to have fun? If you’re going to embrace the philosophy of kaizen, I think it should include a lot of fun.

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