Welcome back to another episode of the YouSchool podcast. I'm Scott Schimmel. And the big idea just to recap, if this is your first time listening or watching one of these, what we're trying to do here is walk through what we call the critical questions about life. These are questions that must be answered, in order to build not just a happy or fulfilling or successful life, but a meaningful one where you know who you are, you're clear about what's important to you, you know how to contribute out of your strengths and values and energy, you know how to put together healthy, functional, authentic relationships. So these these big pillars identity, and belonging, and purpose, these aren't things that are lucky for just a few. These aren't things you just stumble into. These are dynamics about somebody's life that needs to be intentionally constructed, and designed. And the best way to do that, that we found is to wrestle with until you find an answer to these important critical questions. Now, I have to say, just as a heads up, if you're listening to this through audio, you might not know this, but we also have a video version of these. And it's available on YouTube. It's also available under product inside of our websites that you can follow along with, with worksheets and reflection guides every single week. So we're putting together a curriculum a step by step roadmap for anybody whether you're 1444, to build a meaningful life. Today, what we're trying to explore is one part that might not be self evident, or really common sense. But I'm gonna show you and hopefully, you'll agree with me in just a few minutes, that it's it's important, it's critical. What we're going to talk about is the idea that it'd be hard to imagine someone growing up and growing up well, without truly understanding and embracing their limits, or their weaknesses. And you might say, well, you know, what are we trying to do? Highlight and point out a young person's weaknesses? Yes, we are. But to do that with compassion, and grace and honesty, is the key. It's the key part. You know, I remember thinking that I was really, really good and going to be a major league baseball player, until I got to be about 11 or 12 years old. And I realized, no matter my passion, my love for the game, there's something I lacked, it was called talent.
I thought I would be able to make the high school basketball team, there's a kid that I knew that it was going to go try out, and I thought, I'm way better athlete than him. And I thought I'd make the team until I went to basketball camp and had to guard this kid that was the size of a full grown man. I thought then maybe I could play on the golf team, I'm really good compared to my mom and dad and the old people we play with, and we're paired up with him, until I showed up to try out.
And it didn't crush me
close. But those experiences of realizing my limits helped me live in reality. Now maybe you know, somebody who thinks they're going to be successful in a particular area. It's not until that they confront their limits are exposed to the reality that they actually can start living. One of my kids recently, we were driving towards the beach. And my kids said, How much money do you need to make in order to live at the beach.
And I said a lot.
And then we talked about the levels of income, and the types of jobs that would go into those levels of income to build to live within the smell of salts, and in the sea air. And that idea of living in reality, my hoping concern is apparent is that it wouldn't crush their dreams and their imagination, their sense of confidence, or the sense of optimism and hope for the future. But that they would more fully embrace who they are. And to in that in the context of living reality, that they would make better choices. Now we live in a world particularly if you're a part of the corporate world, we're part of the world of StrengthsFinder Gallup put that out into the world 20 years ago, plus or minus. And all of a sudden, what we became in the corporate world really focused on was identifying and living out of your strengths. And a part of the theology that philosophy of StrengthsFinder was essentially avoid and ignore the idea of becoming a well rounded person, which is what school forces you to do.
If you want to go to a top school, you want to get in admitted to university, you have to be both good at math, and science and English. And, and and, and school gives you this idea that life is all about becoming competent and good in all areas. And Strengths Finder through Gallup came out and said, No, no, no, it's it's inefficient, it's a waste of time, it's a waste of potential, what you need to do is discover your strengths, and double or triple down in those areas and allow everybody around you to do the same, and collectively will be better. And personally, you'll be better off,
though there's a lot of truth there. And we're gonna get into strengths in future episode. But I want to leave you with one of the original guys a part of strengths finders name is Marcus Buckingham via this really great quotes to help us understand what we're talking about. He said, a good definition of a strength is an activity that makes you feel strong.
And a weakness is an activity that makes you feel weak. And here's the critical part. Even if you're good at it, if it drains you, that's a weakness.
That's interesting, because I have competence in math, I have competence in people management, I have I can, and I'm sure you have the same examples in your life, I can do things that I don't want to do, that don't bring me life or joy. There are activities that I become competent in, but they're actually not a part of who I am. So as we dig into weaknesses and limits, that's a key qualifier for what it looks like to help a young person or yourself, explore weaknesses, and how you're innately wired. Now, understanding your limits, embracing your weaknesses, and becoming more self aware is a critical part of growing up well, again, to underscore that, can you imagine a full grown adult who's maybe running their own business or leaving their own family, and they have no clue about what they're good at. And not, it just doesn't make sense when you think about it that way. And the danger is that we would have teenagers grow up and go off into college and go off into the workplace. And they would either be unaware or ignorant of their limits.
They be unaware, or ignorant of their limits, which then means they're wasting time they're wasting their potential, they're living in an authentic life may be playing a role that they don't belong in. They're being dishonest with themselves or with other people presenting themselves in a way to hopefully find the acceptance they're looking for, or reflect back what they think they're supposed to do and be and sound like. And that is a life that's set up for disappointment and failure. It's a life that's set up for regret. And something that we deeply I deeply care about is to help young people get on the right path. earlier. The old idea was, you can't really figure yourself out until you go off into the world. And that experience is going to take at least a couple of decades, I've had so many people argue with me, as they hear me speak or present, hear these ideas and say, No, you can't figure yourself out or the world out at an early age, you have to go off into the world. So you're in your 20s or 30s. And my pushback is yeah, there's absolutely truth to that. Life comes at you and life should be reflected upon. And you will learn through the experiences of life, particularly bumps and bruises, who you really are and how the world really works. However, the idea that you have to wait until then to become wise, is absurd. It's ridiculous. And typically, the people that challenge me are the ones who didn't figure themselves out or the world out at all ever. Or it took them a really, really long time. And they had a wake up call, or a midlife crisis, or a come to Jesus moment or a tragedy and then all of a sudden they realize I'm in the wrong life doing the wrong things in the wrong way. And certainly that is always going to be true. But what we're fanatical about is helping young people get the tools, the skill set to be more reflective and an early age and it's possible. It's possible we're going to dig into how
but if you let's say if you learn to understand and embrace your own limits, number one, you'll have more clarity about life and yourself, you'll be more honest.
You'll live a more authentic life, you will embody the character trait of humility. And if you embrace your weaknesses and your limits, you will go down the path of surrender, which is a wise, good path.
You're not trying to be someone that you're not, you're not trying to do things that don't make sense for you, you're not forcing something. And you can actually come up with what would be an appropriate growth plan. And we're going to talk about that just now in just a second.
In addition, you have a more accurate compass to who you are and how to make good choices for yourself, and you'll be better collaborated with others.
The clearer I am about my weaknesses and limits, the more apt and prone I am to lean on other people and their strengths. And that makes the world go round.
Now, there are different options when you confront your limits, I'm going to present three very quickly. Number one, you can call this the Michael Jordan option or the Kobe Bryant option. Michael Jordan's his famous quote, If you expose my weakness, I'm going to I'm butchering the quote, when I find a weakness, I turned into a strength. So for him in basketball, you think I can't drive to the hoop, then I'm going to do that relentlessly in practice and drills until I can drive to a hoop, Kobe Bryant, I'm going to learn to shoot with my left hand, and would do it for countless hours. And that's an option. When you discover a limit or a weakness, I would say that's typically the American ideal. If you find a weakness, cover it, and approve it, and hide it and get it out of there work it out of you.
For me, I grew up with
kind of a learning challenge as it relates to speech and word finding problems. You might even notice it sometimes with me, it's particularly when I get stressed, and particularly when I was younger, and I had years and years of speech therapy, thanks to my mom, and my dad. And I wanted to communicate ideas, I wanted to connect with people. I wanted to be close in friendship to folks, I wanted to make an impact in people's lives. So communicating clearly is particularly public speaking was something that I wanted to turn from a weakness to a strength, I don't think I would bet that I didn't raise my hand in class more than four or five times between kindergarten and graduating college at all, never, oh, gosh, that was the worst, it was a huge weakness of mine. But the values that I had for impact and relationship and expressing ideas pushed me to overcome that weakness, that's
option two would be to find a workaround to hack a workaround. If you find a limit or a weakness, well, you can figure out how to manage it. If you're terrible at managing time, there are apps for that, to help you be more productive. If you get really distracted, you can learn coping mechanisms that you that can help you become more focused and engaged. If you don't know how to build relationships well. And you get really intimidated by having small talk, you can but you want to have a romantic relationship, you can find an app for that and cut through some of the awkwardness. So my point is, you can find a way to work around your weakness or your limit. That's option two. And option three is to avoid it at all costs.
You can avoid your weakness or your limit at all costs.
Completely avoid a career that would require you to become competent in that area.
You can shirk the responsibilities and hand them off to someone else you can hire somebody
to take care of that for you. And I don't this might sound negative, this isn't negative, this is probably a wise thing to do in many situations, if you're not good at managing your money, will avoid it at all costs. Get someone else to manage your money. If if you're not, if you have no green thumb, hire a gardener, or put out some pavers and concrete avoided at all costs. Why would you try to invest your time and energy, if it's not important to you, if it drains a light from you, if there are other people that are good at it, and if it's affordable, I mean, by all means, avoided at all costs.
Now, the danger here is that we often have our weaknesses and limits defined too early is something that's said on a report card that it's a throwaway comment from a friend. It's something that happens in our first job. And we then make these declarations and make these assumptions that we can't and don't have it. Let's say math is a struggle for you. And you're a freshman in high school. It's tempting to say I'm no good at math, when that might be true. But it might also be a variety of other circumstances that contributed to you're struggling in math.
Now, before you write off an entire career,
you might want to explore getting a tutor
going to office hours, maybe you didn't have a really good instructor the first couple years in math and those concepts build on it themselves. Maybe you're prone to sitting around the kids who talk and screw around and don't care and you need to get up and move. There's other ways to respond. And defining a weakness too early can have really life implications. I know a friend
of mine, his mom would always say, you're not really good socially, you're really good academically. And what I think she was trying to do is elevate the strength, another kid in their family, a younger brother, who wasn't very strong academically, but was pretty gifted socially. And so the mom made the mistake, I think, of telling this other kid, you're not really good socially? Well, in fact, he is, but still has that tape going on in his head. And he will make limiting decisions, he will choose not to go and down into opportunities, because He still hears that voice.
So sometimes we can define our limits is too early.
They're often as I just shared, pointed out and defined by other people, sometimes they're right, and sometimes they're wrong. So what do you do if you feel like someone has misdiagnosed your weaknesses, I had a mentor, supervisor, boss at mine, my first boss coming out of college, say something once about what I'm not good at, in a really black and white Bladen way. And I've for years, believed it. But in the back of my mind, I thought, but i i That idea that skill set brings me life. And I want to be that. And I worked really hard to get out of that comment that he had made. Until I got to this point, I sat him down and said you were wrong.
And he just said, Oh, I don't remember saying that. I'm sorry.
So if you feel like someone else has said something about you, and they might be wrong, look for evidence that says otherwise. Ask other people, other voices, to speak into who you are, go find a personality or talent assessment there online. There's apps for that go to take StrengthsFinder
you might even do a reflection on your values is that even though it's a weak area, so compared to someone else, in my is it still a value of mines is something that I want to grow in.
So hopefully by now, we're on the same page, understanding your limits, and how to respond to them is a critical piece to building a meaningful life.
And you need to decide what to do about it, avoid it, get help, or work hard at it. And being an honest, accurate mirror to the young people in our lives or friends in our lives is such a gift to give to them.
So that's it for this episode. I want you to be thinking about your limits. And to do that in a way with a lot of grace and compassion for yourself. And stepping into that honesty is going to be good for you to define who you are and who you're not.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai