double down on what you're good at
+ weekly recs!!
Georgia O’Keeffe, Rust Red Hills, 1930
I used to spend a lot of time thinking about whether to focus on my strengths or my weaknesses. On one hand, my strengths (like reading and writing!) came easily to me and were extremely enjoyable. On the other hand, there were lots of things I wasn’t very good at that seemed valuable to improve. I couldn’t figure out the right distribution of focus.
Where I’ve arrived: I still think it’s important to fix the things you’re bad at if they’re preventing your pursuit of a fulfilling life. I used to be extremely shy, and I am happier now that I am less shy. The time I spent working on that was more than worth it. However, I also think the most important thing I’ve done in recent years is double down on what I’m already good at.
The phrase I like to use for describing this mindset is bloom where you’re planted. How I interpret that: assess where you are right now. Recognize your existing strengths, the things that already bring you joy. Double down on the friendships that you already find fulfilling. Work on what you’re already interested in.
I am someone who is historically prone to longing for what I don’t have, the things that are right out of frame. I’m dreamy, and enjoy living in my own reveries (if you are prone to this, I highly recommend The Fantasy Bond). But I’ve noticed that my life feels way more fertile when I focus on what’s already thriving around me and how I can best engage with that.