What You Can Learn From A Life Skill You Suck At
I fired her after a day working for me. As she walked out of the office, she dropped her notebook, I went to pick it up for her, and she said: "don't help me." No problem!
There was reasons for her termination, but all the blame can't be on her.
Our Director of Operations came to me the next day and said "Nate, you know you're not good with the details, I'll do the administrative training next time.” I suck at the details.
I zoom through tedious, repetitive tasks. My strength is innovating an idea, getting it started and executing the early stage, but after that, everything goes to shit.
Take this post, for example.
I can write all day long, but I HATE everything else that comes after.
A blank screen is like a canvas. It changes each time, but everything else is the same.
All the repetitive tasks and details, it's my Achilles tendon.
I contribute it to my ADD, OCD, type-A, introverted personality (it never gets old typing that. I belong in an insane asylum).
Are you impatient? Do you struggle with tedious, repetitive tasks? The details?
Here's what helps me.
“You can discard most of the junk that clutters your mind…and clear out space for yourself… by comprehending the scale of the world… by contemplating infinite time… by thinking of the speed with which things change — each part of every thing; the narrow space between our birth and death; the infinite time before; the equally unbounded time that follows.” - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Drip, don't drown
When I first started working with my business adviser, he noticed my problem immediately.
He explained it to me in a beautiful metaphor.
Think of it as a garden.
When you drip water consistently, over time, you have a luscious, healthy landscape. But when you flood and drown the plants, things start to die.
The people you work with are the plants. When you drip them information, training, and coaching, they grow, but when you flood them with information, they drown.
He followed it up with "drip, don't drown." It's a statement I'll live by as it works against the very thing inherent deep inside me.
Work with others who are the opposite of you
They say opposites attract. That's true for some time, then they want to kill each other.
But in many areas of business and life, it works well.
They cause me mental pain.
They work against every cell in my brain.
But others thrive on it.
I need to find the Robin to my Batman. So do you.
You need to have a counterpart that gets pumped up on repetitive tasks and the details.
Be thankful you suck and double down on what you're great at.
Be thankful for your gift. Just because we suck at something doesn't mean, we don't have a gift.
I suck at repetitive tasks. Have I said that yet?
Like updating dashboards, training someone on how to use technology, or explaining a routine process.
These are mind-numbing.
But where I excel at is strategically thinking, creative endeavors, or resolving a complex problem.
Whatever it is, whether personal or professional, I excel and suck in these areas. We must embrace our ‘suckiness’ and go all-in on our strengths.
"If you try to be something you're not or strive for something completely beyond your present capacities, you end up as a pathetic dabbler." -Epictetus