Greg Satell, aka @DigitalTonto, published a post that hit a nerve and I ended up posting a long comment on his post. His post, how and why I blog, revealed Greg’s motivations for writing a blog. His thoughts, resonated with my own motivation. And, in the comment, I revealed one of my own motivations for writing a blog.
Here is my comment:
Your thoughts resonate with my own motivation for starting and continuing to write my own blog.
For me, it took me a few years to start my own. Like you, I have no problem coming up with ideas, so I took the challenge of writing for the startups I was a part of in topics that I was no expert. That was my start.
Pretty soon, soon my friends were telling me that I should start writing my own blog so I could “dump my brain somewhere”. As far as I can remember, I’ve started 11 blogs in different topics.
Adding to your list of “reasons to write a blog”, I also took it as a challenge to attack one of my known weaknesses:
1. Communication. For those of us who jump from one topic to another as freely as a group of jazz people improvise musical notes, communicating our thoughts in a structured way is a challenge. It is the Achilles Heel of every Iconoclast, and I’ve enjoyed attacking this challenge. I know I’ve improved, but I’m not where I want to be.
Another reason is that, like you, I’ve met and have collaborated with smart people I never would have met or known about. This is the biggest payoff for me. The learning and feedback priceless.
Sorry for the long comment, but your post really hit a nerve as I’ve never written a “why I blog” post of my own.
My Achilles Heel is communication. It’s my known, and main weakness. And blogging, has really helped my strengthen my communication skills. But, only in the written word.
To work on the spoken word, I hired a public speaking coach at the beginning of the year. And, although I’m not shy about speaking in front of people, nor do I suffer from stage fright; it doesn’t mean I’m great. Far from it.
It is only through hard work that I will turn this weakness, just like I’ve done with others, into a strength.
The real skill is to be able to turn a weakness into a strength
I’m of the belief, maybe because I’m competitive, that we should work on our weaknesses as much as we do our strengths. I’ve never really followed the conventional view that we should focus only on our strengths. It is a very practical way of saying: “See, you’re good at something! Keep doing more of that and you’ll always be happy! Don’t worry about your weaknesses”.
I understand the psychology behind it. It is the “small wins” concept applied to personal development. But I think this view limits our capability. Not to mention human potential, because we all have weaknesses. And it is in these weaknesses where we can better challenge ourselves.
Like psychological biases, which people think they don’t have, we should acknowledge and attack them. Let’s not be afraid to accept that we are human after all. For me, the real skill is to be able to turn a weakness into a strength. There are very few people who are able to do this.
Maybe only athletes, or highly competitive people who want to always have an edge.
I believe that simply deciding to work on your weaknesses, is its own strength. So, take on a real challenge and face your fear. Because there, lies the biggest source of your strength.
“My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.” – Michael Jordan