Transforming weaknesses into strengths

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Tired with coffee

I’m tired today. Normally, that’d be a bad thing, but it doesn’t have to be. For every perceived weakness we have, there’s a way to manage it, mitigate it, or even possibly transmute it into a temporary strength. Being tired (occasionally, not as a chronic thing) can be a temporary positive, in that it can stimulate creativity and non-linear thinking as your brain operates differently than it does when you’re well-rested.

There are positives and negatives to every state we can be in as humans. When you’re angry, there’s an incredible cocktail of chemicals rushing around your bloodstream that are triggering various fight/flight responses. You could attempt to suppress that anger, but in doing so, your body chemically is attacking itself unless you dump that energy.

This is true of every “negative” state you can imagine. So, the logical question is – how do you take advantage of these states? If you’re tired, make it work for you. Do creative work, do brainstorming, do things that make use of the state you’re in. If you’re angry, make that work for you, too. Go to the gym. Go running. Bleed off that energy, that adrenaline, by making it useful and serving you, rather than hurting you.

The trick to making this all work is to be self-aware. If we don’t know what state we’re in, we then can’t make use of it. Be aware of what you are like in any given state and what that means, what you should do about it. Equally important, be aware what you cannot do in those states. If you know that you are tired, do not attempt a 10-hour driving trip. If you know that you are angry, do not attempt to be rational until you have bled off that energy.

How do you become more self-aware? Keep a journal of what your various states are, how you got to them, and the things that worked less or more well until you have a good sense of what to do in any given situation to maximize what you’ve got at hand, rather than try to force yourself to be or feel something you’re not. Life will be a more powerful experience, and you won’t frustrate yourself with attempted self-delusion!

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