Why are we so obsessed with being well-rounded? Round is boring. When we think of all the interesting and fascinating people in the world how often do we say,
“Wow, that person is a really well-rounded individual; I mean just look at how incredibly mediocre they are in everything!”
Let me ask you. Which would you rather be: average in everything or freaking awesome in one or two things?
I’m guessing you chose the second option. I would too.
You don’t become awesome by focusing on your weaknesses. You don’t become great by correcting all your faults. You become awesome by focusing on your strengths. You become great by figuring out what you’re pretty good at and then working on that one thing endlessly.
As a high school or college student this is a very important concept to grasp. It’s tempting to focus all of your time and energy on improving the things you aren’t very good at. The problem is that when you do this you are neglecting the areas of your greatest potential. For example,
Let’s say you’re a great writer. You’re an amateur, but you’ve got serious talent. You’re imaginative and articulate. You have the potential to become a phenomenal writer, but because you are already pretty good at it and you pass all your writing classes with ease; you don’t spend nearly as much time studying literature or writing as you do studying biology. You don’t even like biology, but you do your best. Nevertheless, all you’re efforts go into studying biology and thanks to all your hard work you become good enough in that class to pass with an A-. You do the same thing with some of your other classes: statistics, French, economy, and world history. Unfortunately, by the end of the school year you didn’t really advance much at all in writing because you were already pretty good in it. Now you are pretty good in lots of great subjects you don’t care two cents about.
This is how we become mediocre.
So What Can We Do?
I know, I know, you can’t just skip all the general education classes you don’t like (as awesome as that would be) so what else can you do?
Focus where you can.
A lot of your high school and college schedule is made up for you. You have to take certain classes and you have to fulfill certain responsibilities, but not all of your time is spent for you. We all have a limited amount of time and energy. Focusing your free time and energy on the things you love, your passions, seems like a good place to start in the journey to becoming awesome.
Let’s take the following four things for example. Do they line up with your passions?
- Your volunteering positions
- Your evening and weekend activities
- How you kill time or procrastinate
- How you spend your time online
If you start with those four things you’re off to a good start. Make sure that the themes of your life center around the things you are naturally talented at. Simply put, do what you want to be doing.
Don’t neglect the things you’re already good at, those might just be the keys to your success.