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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Strength or Weakness?

My grandfather used to say, “Any attribute you have, when taken to the extreme, becomes your weakness.”

It was a job interview years ago, that brought the wisdom of these words to the forefront of my mind, in an effort to answer one of those interview “trick questions”.  The interviewer asked me ‘what I thought my weaknesses were?’  Who wants to answer that question about themselves in a job interview?!  As I pondered my response - wanting to answer with truth but not torpedo my opportunity at the position - I was able to again employ my grandfather’s wisdom to save the day.

Have you ever taken a moment to consider this?  It’s true.  Anything that you can taut as a personal strength easily becomes your “Achilles’ Heel” if you take it too far.  How is that?  Ask yourself, do you know anyone who has a great sense of humor?  Do the ever “play too much” or make light of serious situations?  Maybe you know someone has been blessed with looks that can also be very conceited or shallow.  Why is it that some people with great inner strength and determination can be so overbearing or stubborn at times?  What about you?  What are your strengths? Are there times you take them so far that you repel those around you?

The key in recognizing the point of extreme is by being observant; paying attention to the small details and warning signs that you may be taking your strengths too far.  Often it’s the post-event evaluation of an experience that can best illustrate this point through the 20\20 hindsight of life.  With some considerate evaluation, you will soon be able to avoid mistakes and make instances of failure more of a learning experience rather than a mistake.  For more on that line of thought read my post “Well…what do you know.” (Click here to read)

Better yet, as we learned from my post “A word to theunwise” (Click here to read), you can get ahead and actually avoid potential moments of weakness by paying attention and learning from the errors of others.   My prayer is that you take a thoughtful moment of reflection if you encounter a situation where your strength has developed into a weakness.  Evaluate the incident, recognize the signs, and if needed, ask a trusted friend to help you realize when you may be taking things too far.  Put this in practice and you will surely grow.  I am sure you will see other people’s respect for you grow, as you grow in self-control.  Be Blessed.