Image Courtesy: madestrength.com
How often are we told that we’re not good at something? Very often. Disagreements based on one’s character is an existing phenomenon of our life. What one sees can be completely invisible to another. You might have been called ‘weird’, ‘crazy’, ‘mad’ for being different. It’s such a sorry fact that people don’t get the right vocabulary to describe people, yet they do. It’s up to us to join the rather confusing puzzle together in order to arrive at the conclusion. Have you ever figured out what people find out as faults in you is your biggest strength and all you need is to streamline it?
Let me give you an example, I’ve been told numerous times that I’m stubborn and I need to quit being stubborn and be more receptive. The bad vocabulary word used: controlling. Yes, I’m phrased as the Tormenting Controlling Devil (TCD) for the people around me. But did you know that being stubborn is one of my greatest strengths? Had I not been so, I wouldn’t be writing this. Had I been a bit flexible, I wouldn’t be doing half the things I’m at now. This took me a while to decipher. What people around me perceived as the biggest weakness turned out to be my biggest strength. When you sit back and analyze why, it’s when it strikes you, The Eureka Moment. We might not be making a good acknowledgement of the qualities we possess. Can all of us analyze ourselves and admit our biggest strength and weakness, without lying through our teeth? If we did, we might know the strength and the weakness is the same thing. What builds us is what destroys us as well.
In my 5th grade, I was cursing my parents for shifting me into a new school in another country, sharing the class with a species of the same form as mine but of different gender. I hated them with all my heart, I was so busy hating some co-existing species like me that I eventually fell into the loggerhead category. One girl in the school bus told that I could never pass a subject and I was a loggerhead, I thank her now. If she hadn’t told me that, I wouldn’t have propelled forward at all. In order to prove her wrong, I worked the following year and I was a topper. Let me tell you this was short-lived. While I was basking in the warmth of that feeling, I was suddenly put back to the place where I began. Well, I thought I still had it in me to be the person with laurels. What happened? I failed. I failed more consecutively than I had expected to. I again became this loggerhead. My Hindi teacher slammed my test paper on my desk, kept her nose so close to mine and screamed in a high pitch tone spraying her saliva on my face saying “You can never get to talk this language, you can never make it anywhere” and also “you can never progress in life because you write your father’s name as k7.” Let me tell you, it’s a sin to shorten your father’s name and write, even if he does write it like that himself in my country, your name can be damned in hell however written. My paper was torn thrown on my face, I was so devastated that the poor glasses I wore fell down and broke. I cried. Till today I remember her nose against mine, her eyes burning into my brain and the saliva spray. I have little idea as to how it affected me, let me assure you the following year in Thailand, I could talk the language she told I couldn’t. What was it that pushed me? The quality which was predicted to be my biggest weakness, My Stubbornness. When everyone thought I could be never good with numbers or derivations, I tried my best to get it through. The subjects which I hated the most, is now the subject I love the most. Yes, I love math. Don’t judge me already. When all these small push ups in life relied on my stubbornness, even the greatest push downs also weighed on that quality. I might have gotten into a lots of trouble proving myself useful to a few people who called me worthless. Consecutively wasting my time on people who never mattered to be. Realisations are a bolt from the blue, nevertheless it struck me quite early. Yes, the quality even malfunctions a lot.
Today I try to stand and diss the judgements made about me by combating it. I try to stand and play along without shuddering and being baffled about what scares me. I try to analyze and re-analyze my strengths. My strengths are the qualities what people dismiss as a misfit. As George Bernard Shaw put it “the reasonable always try to move along with the changes with the world, the unreasonable always tries to change the world according to them. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man”. Be unreasonable always. To begin with, the responses may startle you, but through the course of time they build you. Your strength is always your greatest boon and bane. They walk along hand in hand like cosy couples. You’re the one who should choose which person in the couple you want to be. Nobody can guide you through that. Always be open to criticism and mockery because only they provide you clues about the strengths you have in order to build them. Never try to reason yourself with anyone other than yourself. Always be a better you. You’re unique.