A friend recommended I watch a talk by Gary Vee: . He’s an entrepreneur, and his approach to success is taking a long term view, connecting with people, helping as much as possible, and working hard.

I watched it. One thing that caught my attention was that he suggested focusing on your strengths, and not killing yourself trying to overcome your weaknesses. I’ve heard that advice before – from a guitar teacher in an online guitar course that I started with – Doug Marks, of Metal Method.

I get very curious when I hear the same advice coming from successful people from extremely different backgrounds. I think that signals depth, truth.

I asked my mentor about it – he thinks it can be good advice. I asked him what he thinks of my strengths. He listed a few:

  • Resilience, staying calm under pressure
  • Being happy to help others
  • Taking on work, regardless if it’s difficult or hard, glamorous or dirty
  • Egoless approach to work
    • Caring about the result, not the pat on the back – not needing to own achievements
    • Accepting feedback, and improving on it
  • Being comfortable out of my comfort zone, throwing myself against things I’m not great at until I get them
  • Coming up with crazy/creative solutions to difficult problems
  • Solving problems under extreme time pressure

He summarized this saying that I need to work harder than most with my set of strengths. I was reminded of a quote by Luciano Pavarotti (paraphrasing): “I’m not as talented as other singers, but I work harder”.

I can fail at something I’m bad at, then accept the feedback, and then work hard under extreme pressure to get better at it. Great. 😦

I was thinking about this in tandem with my goals, and the advice I got about working on discipline. That it may be okay for me to increase the pressure I have in my life, work under extreme pressure – on my job, on my side projects – and iterate on my release cycles, note the flaws in my work process, and improve.

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