Several years ago I decided to take up tennis. I have always considered tennis to be the sport with the cutest outfits and I was excited to learn! The tennis courts in the neighborhood my husband and I had just moved into were beautiful and we thought tennis would be something fun we could do together.
We approached the sport with a sense of enthusiasm and excellent intentions. We invested in some equipment; scheduled time to practice together and even signed up to play on a few beginner teams. I thought it would be perfect: We get to spend time together, we get exercise, we get to hang with friends… it was an excellent plan!
There was only one problem: My lack of tennis talent. And it proved to be a big problem.
Neither of us had ever played in a league, yet we noticed a huge difference immediately. Denis had a talent for tennis. I did not.
Everyone has talent—for something. Every single person in the world has a short list of things they are really good at. These are our talents and they define who we are, what we do, how we work, where we succeed, and why we’re valuable.
Just as all of us have a short list of talents, we also have a long list of non-talents. Whenever possible, we should avoid doing things that require talents we don’t have, and other people would be wise to avoid asking us to do them as well. When it came to tennis, I was asking myself to use a talent I didn’t have.
You Can’t Fix Weaknesses in Business or in Tennis
The key point here is that people do not succeed based on their weaknesses. That may seem obvious, but it’s important to reiterate: We will never progress or get ahead by leaning on our weaknesses—or by trying to fix our weaknesses.