Growing in Your Strength

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One of the secrets of success is concentrating on your strength areas and working on them to achieve excellence. People who invest time and energy on their areas of weakness can improve, but improving on their weakness cannot make them to excel in that area. You can be a genius only in your area of strength.

Don’t be frightened by the word genius, thinking that it’s only people like Thomas Edison that are geniuses. There are different levels or classes of geniuses. Since every person has been created with an area of strength, everyone can be a genius.

Everyone also has been created with an area of weakness. This divine design is for a purpose.

Mind your own gift
Sir Ifeanyi Atueyi

When you work in your area of weakness, you spend your valuable resources that could have been deployed in your strength areas. Of course, you will improve and become better when you seriously work on weak areas; but you will still remain average. You cannot be outstanding or extraordinary.

I have watched monkeys demonstrate acrobatics on trees, jumping and hanging on little twigs and hopping from tree to tree, up and down. They can do so because they are naturally wired to do so. They are geniuses on trees.

However, I have also watched some fish swim. Those of us who learnt swimming when we were young admired how even little and young fishes swim effortlessly. Fishes are also geniuses in their own environment of water.

If you put that acrobatic monkey inside water, it is as good as dead. In the same way, take the fish out of water and leave it on the branch of a tree, it is finished. You can only be a genius in your strength area and environment.

Some parents mistakenly encourage their children to focus on their weaknesses while in school.   They feel that it is better to spend more time and energy on the subjects in which they are not doing well. Of course, the children  do not enjoy those subjects and find it tedious studying them. The result is that such children do not focus on their strengths but on their weaknesses. Even the teachers of those tedious subjects tend to be disliked by students.

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When I was in the secondary school, Dennis Memorial Grammar School, Onitsha, I did not like Physics but my uncle, Dan Erinne, insisted that I study and pass it for my future professional course. I spent a lot of my time and energy working on it. In fact, during the two-year Higher School Certificate course, I had to be close to   my classmates who were good at Physics to be coaching me. My student teachers were Sam Ugochukwu and  Emma Mgbenu.

But my uncle did something remarkable for me. Being a Chemistry graduate teacher himself, he taught me how to study and pass Physics. Together, we listed different aspects of Physics and he asked me the aspects that I liked. I indicated those ones. He then advised me to focus and concentrate on them and ensure that I passed very well any questions set from those sections. He told me that for the other sections, I should give them less time.  That was the strategy I adopted to ensure good passes in Physics, Chemistry and Zoology in December 1960.

I have adopted working and concentrating on my strength areas as a good principle in my business and life generally. We are uniquely created with inherent strengths and weaknesses to serve special purposes. You need to depend on others in your areas of weakness, as others depend on you in your strength areas.

The Creator makes up for our natural weaknesses. 1 Corinthians 1:27 says, “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” God understands our needs and makes adequate provisions for us.

We must realise that our strengths and weaknesses are given by God for a purpose. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “… My grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness…”

No one is created to be hundred per cent strong or hundred per cent weak.  That is why our strengths and weaknesses should be used for God’s glory. Do not despise people or take advantage of them because of their weakness. Do not be despondent because of your own weakness. Instead,  continuously identify your strengths and work on them to fulfil God’s purpose for your life.

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