I was reading about personal growth and development(again) and thinking about what it really means to pursue those. Thinking about where our strengths are, where our weaknesses are, and where we really want to grow either personally or professionally. As I was thinking about this, I was also contemplating the idea of how we choose the areas where we grow. Now we can make a lot of arguments regarding whether or not you should focus on your strengths, whether you should focus on your weaknesses, or whether you should focus on both. I'm not going debate strengths versus weaknesses today, I'll save that for another post. However, I think it's worth talking about the idea of sharpening yourself, about keeping your skills and your knowledge up-to-date, because if you want to be an innovator and change your industry or your life or another issue you're interested in, then to do all those things you need to be current. When I think about this, I also think a lot about how we choose what we read and listen to - do they provide value beyond entertainment?
My question for you is - which blade are you sharpening? Are you trying to sharpen the already very sharp blades? Or are you doing what's hard and sharpening the dull blade that really needs to be sharpened? I know I have fallen into this trap over and over again I spend my time reading and working on my strengths. The things that I am passionate and excited about. Yet, there are areas where I have weakness, and I know that, yet I tend to put them off and procrastinate on a reading about those or working on those areas because I know it's going to be harder. It's going to be more painful and I have to really work to sharpen that blade. So how can you and I focus on the many blades of our life. Again this comes back to that never-ending balancing act that is life. You can't spend your time only on one side of the balance. We need to sharpen one knife and then let it be used sharp and rotate through our collection of blades so that all of them are sharp enough that we can do the job beautifully without having one sharp blade amidst a set of dull. Diversification and excellence. Perseverance not procrastination.
So, what blade will you sharpen today?