Knowledge Is Only Power If You Will It To Be – Failing And Accounting For Your Weaknesses

accounting for weakness
If any man said he had none, he would be lying. Even the idols of the personal development space, have weaknesses. You can call them quirks if you want, that’s a different discussion.

There is no one more devastating to disappoint than yourself. I had an idea, a vision, and I failed to follow through. I failed to account for my weaknesses, and it robbed me of my momentum. I relapsed into self-brainwashing with endless TV watching, although I managed to start helping out a little more.

Month to make a difference was supposed to be a life changing month for me, where I managed to shift the focus from myself by allowing myself to focus on helping others. Because of lack of preparation, and some inaction, all I’ve done is set a meeting with a volunteer manager and start piling clothes to give away. The meeting had to be postponed once despite me only having one day a week it wouldn’t work which was discouraging to say the least, but that’s no excuse.

Know Them

The first step to accounting for your weaknesses is of course; knowing them. In most cases, it’s a question of remembering rather than discovering something new. What got in your way the last time you attempted something similar? If you ask yourself that, you should be well on your way.

I have known for a very long time that I am terrible with preparations. That I have a tendency to postpone things longer than is healthy, and that I am prone to inaction. There are of course other things, but in the context of Month To Make A Difference these are the ones that matter.

Accept Them

The first step towards changing for the better, is admitting that you have room to improve. This doesn’t change here.
Once you’ve gotten to know your weaknesses, accept that you have them. Lose the frustration and the anger, or at least, direct it away from yourself, and strictly towards the specific weaknesses you have.

One thing to keep in mind is not to immediately assume something is a weakness. Sometimes it’s just an isolated incident where you made a bad decision.

Account For Them

This is where things get a little more complicated. Some weaknesses can be accounted for simply by making an effort to do so. If I had made an effort to prepare properly, knowing that I have a tendency to dismiss it as I find it tedious, I would have prepared properly. At other times it’s not so simple, but preparation is a key word to remember when thinking about how to overcome, or work around your weaknesses.

Of course if you’re worried about physical inadequacy, in many cases, training will suffice. But when you’re struggling with a weakness, there are times when working around it, rather than trying to change it, is more effective. That’s where the next, and final, step comes in.

Know And Play To Your Strengths

A little more uplifting than figuring out your weaknesses, but no less necessary. The most important thing to keep in mind is to forget outward comparisons. For this exercise it doesn’t matter whether you are good at something compared to someone else, it matters what you are good at compared to other things you are not so good at.

If you’re a good writer, but a terrible designer, hiring a designer is usually better to allow you to focus on what you’re already good at. In a sense this is a similar concept. You could call it internal outsourcing.. but in reality you are just approaching something in a way that suits you better. This is why acceptance is an important step, if you can accept your weakness, it will help you work around it whenever needed.

Let’s say you are terrible at auditory learning. Instead of investing hours upon hours into trying to better benefit from going to lectures, your time is better spent learning in a way that is more effective for you personally.

In the right circumstance, what others perceive to be weakness can be used as a strength as well. I have a tendency to get obsessed with something for short periods of time, then tend to slowly lose interest. Writing is a way for me to tie my obsessions together into something meaningful, or at least that’s my intention. That way I’m always building one skill for a longer period of time, regardless of what I’m currently obsessed with.

It’s also why I chose such a short timeframe for my project.. something I will continue to do, although hopefully with more success.

Getting A Job In A Week

The moral of this post is that I need to be taking more action. I’m making an effort to do more and talk less on this blog. At the very least, actually do some of the things that I talk about. So for that reason, and others, I’ve decided to work out my issues with employment this week. It might sound ambitious, but companies are starting to look for extra help towards the Christmas period, hopefully I’m not too late.

This time around I won’t be overly ambitious about the kind of work I’ll be doing, and physically show up, instead of just lazily sending applications to jobs I’m not really qualified for from my couch.

Picture by David Sim

A Selfish Reason For Helping/Giving?

selfish reason for helping“You’re only helping yourself.”

Everyone’s heard it, or even said it, a few times in their lifetime.

The idea that the altruist is not really an altruist at all, but a self serving gratification seeker, is nothing new.. but I fail to see the negative aspect of such a thing. Sure from a moral point of view, it might not be as admirable as truly sacrificing yourself without any reward at all, but the end result is the same.

I would even go so far as to say the byproduct; people getting helped, is much more important than the main goal which may or may not be gratification.

Let me be clear, I am not accusing anyone who is putting their life on the line helping others of being self-serving. Quite the opposite. But I do think that the increased feeling of self-worth, and the positive empathy you feel when helping others could perhaps unconsciously be part of the why for some, if not many of the people who lay down their lives to better the world. Even if that were true, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I mean, the world could use a documented self serving reason for helping others.. what better way to inspire selfish people to truly help out?

And I’m not talking about the occasional donation to alleviate guilt here. I’m talking getting down in the trenches, and doing some hands-on helping. Continue reading

Month To Make A Difference : Not Your Standard 30 Day Experiment!

If you don’t want to watch the video, here’s a written explanation:

I originally wanted to upload this on Canada’s thanksgiving yesterday because I thought it was fitting, I ended up just barely not making it in time though.. but here’s the video I made.

For my new 30 day experiment, I’ve chosen not to tackle the traditional things.. like building muscle or confidence. I’ve instead chosen to invest 30 days to try to change the world a little for the better. I also want to see how this will affect me as a person and my level of happiness and self-worth, because I think it’s very relevant if there is any correlation between helping others and mental well-being.

I also want to inspire other people who like me, up to this point have followed the sort of futility concept, that no matter what you try to do, nothing will improve for the better. Just leave that behind for one month and try to make small differences wherever you can. If I am able to create a platform for more inspiring people than me, people willing to make much greater sacrifices to help the greater good.. I think that would be a awesome.

I invite anyone that chooses to participate, even if you’re already volunteering, to contribute content about your progress in video or text format to the website

After my 30 days are up, I will give up my role as administrator and will hopefully never have to step in and make content again. My goal is to reach at least 6 months, and depending on the circumstances, if we get to 4 or 5 months and there is no replacement, I will consider doing another month.

It’s not about self promotion, and I will at no point mention my name or link to another site than monthtomakeadifference or charities that I choose to help. I’m not inviting or taking personal donations, I want you to contribute in a way that is meaningful to you.. and commit to doing so for 30 days.

Want To Contribute?
If you’re going to participate and want to contribute content throughout November, contact me at, or use the form here. Or even if you want to help design the logo, or point out spelling errors on the site, or translate the message to another language, feel free to reach out.

In general if this just inspires you a little bit to make a tiny positive impact on the world around you, I would consider it to be a success.

I guess the other way you can help me is by helping me create a small buzz around this, any shoutout or participation would be appreciated and I will make sure to thank any of the early contributers that really help get the ball rolling.. in person if possible, if not in a google hangout or just on camera.

Regardless of what you choose to do, I hope you have a great week and month.

P.S. Leave comments with your thoughts on what I can do/should to to improve my project/site/videos.. I want to make as big of a small impact as I can.