Everyone has heard that story of the hare and the tortoise a thousand times. The hare and the tortoise decided to race one day. The hare was obviously swifter and soon acquired a considerable lead over the tortoise. But the hare was also complacent and hence decided to take a nap till the tortoise caught up. For nothing but bragging rights he left the race unfinished and slumbered away, while the tortoise, slowly but steadily won the race.
What we often forget to see is that this story is about two kinds of personalities. The fast, the furious and the enthusiastic hare and the slow, methodical and perseverant tortoise. In theory the hare could have zoomed to victory with his skills. He could have reached the finish line with time to spare and out-lapped the tortoise thrice in the process. Why did the tortoise think he had a fighting chance in all of this? Why did he assume that he could win the race?
The answer is simple. The tortoise was aware of the hare’s strengths and weaknesses as well as his own. The hare wasn’t. Despite being a shoo-in for winner, he managed to lose the race. This can happen in real life to.
Take the task of choosing careers for example. A doctor needs to be skilled and efficient but her personality can be of many different types. A benevolent and kind doctor would work well in an OPD while the calm, yet assertive, go-getter type would do better in a high pressure situation like a surgery. A student needs to understand which category he/she fits into and choose his/her career path accordingly.
Take the workplace as another example. Not being able to stick to a routine would not work for a manager or a high level official. It would be considered a weakness. But for an advertising copywriter? Having flexible hours is an asset. Being slow and methodical might be a problem for an investment banker but for a fact checker at a research institute, it is an absolute boon.
No one is asking you to change your personality. That is a very difficult task. But being aware of your strengths and weaknesses means that you can use your strengths to their true potential and work on the weaknesses in advance.
Knowledge of one’s own strengths and weaknesses is not a burden, it is a thing of great value. One can move mountains if one finds the right kind of crowbar. The crowbar, in this case, is unlocking the true potential of your personality and placing yourself in the right place at the right time.
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