I’m sure you’re all familiar with the (somewhat overused) metaphor “rock star,” usually bandied about when someone is trying to quickly summize an unbelievable talent. An interesting metaphor, to be sure, considering the history of behavior by actual rock stars, but that’s another post for another time. The obvious connotation is to describe someone who can set the stage on fire with their very presence (but you may not want them doing your taxes.)

Little known fact ~ I almost chose the path of “rock star.” The only thing that held me back was my complete lack of skill at singing or playing guitar. As bad as I wanted it to happen, as a musician, I stink…so I no longer spend a lot of time practicing chord progressions. Or anything else related to being a rock star for that matter. After two or three experiences with guitar lessons, it became clear – whether I spend 10 minutes or 10 hours developing my skills in this vocation, it just ain’t happening.

I’m not the first person to learn this lesson, simply the latest – but it’s worth reminding ourselves every day of the validity of the Pareto Principle. You have a focused set of strengths inherent in you that have produced 80% of the results you have accomplished…or, rather, they should have produced 80% of your results. But we still aren’t comfortable leaving weaknesses unaddressed, so an inequitable amount of time and effort is put into making ourselves “better” at things which:

  • We don’t like doing
  • We aren’t good at doing
  • We will improve only marginally, if at all

Why? Could be any number of reasons:

  • We’re hard-headed
  • We’re taught to “never quit”
  • We feel a skill is needed

I have to be careful with how this is phrased, having a rather snarky 13-year old who might use this post as an excuse to ignore his Language Arts homework, but…in your personal development, why not focus on taking a strength to the next level?

Or are you still trying to be a rock star?