Saturday, February 06, 2010

Be Comfortable With Your Weaknesses

As humans, we all have our crosses to bear, our Achilles heels to nurse, and chinks in our armor. With time we learn to live with it. We also outgrow other aspects of our personalities that make up for our inadequacies.

But there are many of us including me who suffer pains with this realization of their shortcomings. They suffer for a long long time before they begin to accept and come to terms with that reality.
I have always suffered from low memory retention from my early childhood. I remember experimenting with memory capsules during my 10th exams to help me in my studies. I do not know if it helped. During my engineering(which was a wrong decision for me), I struggled a lot with my studies. I put in a lot of effort studying and understanding concepts with a passionate zeal to outdo others. I remember taking Digital Processing subject by its horns and preparing it. I prepared notes that would envy my classmates. But within no time the concepts began to degenerate from my mind. No amount of reinforcements could help me improve retention.
I have always been an average student. By no means it meant I neglected or ignored studies. I was one of the most hard working lot. But it just didn’t translate to good scores.

I remember watching the movie Koi Mil Gaya, where the autistic character cries and complains God on why he can’t seem to pass his subjects even after studying so hard. Tears welled into my eyes because I could relate to him so much.

I carry the same burden today that has often has its bearing on my professional and personal life. Forgetting my own phone number or my employee code is common. I have put myself under embarrassing situations when I have to put up a blank face when asked about a certain element of my work status. Recollecting names of new people I meet is a tasking effort.
I have tried recourse to medicine and clinical help including meditation, but that hasn’t helped.
But after all these years, if I look back and reflect, there is so many positive aspects out of this inadequacy. Firstly I became a hard worker.

“If you can’t win with talent, triumph with effort” was the slogan that became my guiding force. Subject that my peers took an hour to absorb, I took two hours. My endurance to go through the grind increased. Today hard work is a non issue for me because it is ingrained in my DNA.

I also became a lot more organized relying heavily on notes and updates. I don’t consider it a weakness any more if I cant save data on my head. If someone asks me for a piece of information all of a sudden, I say “give me a second”. And the data is gleaned out from my diary.

I also realized with experience, that it is not just me. Everyone has his own share of failings and weaknesses to bear. We should accept it and be comfortable with such personal inadequacies.
Yet we also must make up for these inadequacies by strengthening other faculties of our mind and body. With time your inadequacies wouldn’t bother you because your strengths would have far outdone your weaknesses.

A prime example of a person with similar inadequacy is Subroto Bagchi who set up his company, Mind Tree Consulting. A man from a political science background setting up one of the most admired IT company in India outmaneuvering all his inadequacies. He was aware that he had wide gap in his technical knowledge. He was also aware that he may never bridge this gap and more importantly he was comfortable with that fact.

Working amidst highly competent teams who tackle complex technical problems, he often found himself a misfit. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t fathom the complexity and depth of their work. But Subroto Bagchi never pretended to understand things and has humbly accepted his ignorance on such topics. He keeps mum in meetings where he cant contribute and allows others to take center stage. Yet because of this he has never felt excluded or reduced in stature.
“Sometimes stating your ignorance can be the simplest solution”, says Subroto.

Contd. (Part 2)


Nanda Kishor Sunday, February 07, 2010 10:39:00 PM  

it's worth reading...

Couple of facts I could relate to myself too... Ex: Earlier (during college days) I used to remember all my friends & relatives phone numbers. 6 months after I bought my 1st mobile - now I hardly remember any phone numbers except my home phone & wife's mobile number :-)

Some people tend to forget or might struggle to organize their thoughts / work related tasks. I feel there is nothing wrong in relying heavily on notes.

In fact GTD (Getting Things Done) concept rests on the principle that a person needs to move tasks out of the mind by recording them externally. That way, the mind is freed from the job of remembering everything that needs to be done, and can concentrate on actually performing those tasks.

All the best for your upcoming workshop programmes.

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Anonymous,  Monday, March 22, 2010 10:57:00 PM  

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