Often in life what frustrates us is when our strength becomes a weakness, and when our weakness becomes a strength.
For example, I have a good memory. It helps to remember things on the job. However, the downside, which is major, is that I remember things that I don’t want to remember and that don’t help me. I remember all the mistakes, all the hurt feelings I have had, and all the reasons that I am imperfect. While this keeps me humble, it is annoying. Our strengths and weaknesses can help or hurt us, and we can’t control that.
In job interviews, a popular question is what is your weakness? I often respond with how much time do you have? My biggest weakness is my memory. I have a ton of associations when I think because almost every word reminds me of a memory. When I write this, for example, I see an infinite forest of branches of what I could write. Partly because those memories are so strong. They shout for attention, and I can’t focus on every random little thought I have. I have to let most of my thoughts just pass because I won’t let my memories control me.
Why am I talking about this? I realized this morning that personal qualities really depend on the situation and that no quality is truly always helpful or always harmful. Everything in life needs a balance, otherwise, it becomes harmful. As you get older you realize that your former excesses of youth were just a silly misunderstanding and ignorance of the balance in life. As my life has been more balanced I have been happier than I ever could have imagined.
Don’t get stuck on very simple concepts of strength and weakness. It isn’t a strength to not show your emotions, and it isn’t a weakness to be vulnerable with those you trust. Being flexible in life while having standards is ok, and leads to better results.