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> Strenghts Vs Weaknesses
Cosmin Lupu
post Jun 12 2012, 09:56 AM
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All our lives we have been educated and sometimes forced to overcome our weak points and get better at some things. There's an American dude, who's living here in Romania, old friend of mine and he aims to start a project based on career re-orientation for young people working in environments not allowing them to express their full potential, based on their real strengths and talents.

In a nutshell, his concept is based on the fact that in our society, folks are always forced to work on their weak points and in this way, they totally neglect their strong ones, ending up doing things which maybe they were not meant for, thus never achieving their full potential as human beings and of course, not being happy.

He is very fond of artists and he likes to talk to a lot of us in some of the bands here, as he thinks we are a good inspiration source for the people he aims to help.

Now, I took a test based on answering 180 questions, each of them having 20 seconds to be answered - this lead to discovering my top 5 strengths:

Cosmin's Top 5 Strengths

That doesn't mean that others not present, but these 5 are supposed to define you in a greater amount than any other of a total of 34.

I don't know how much I can believe these but, what I can tell you is that I was very honest with my answers in the test smile.gif - for more insight, visit www.strengthsfinder.com

If i am correct, I remember a little movie with Steve Vai (posted here on GMC) underlining that we should work on developing our strong points not our weak ones as players and I think that now I understand what he meant and I can agree.

What do you guys think about strengths vs weaknesses?

Cosmin

This post has been edited by Cosmin Lupu: Jun 12 2012, 10:13 AM


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Nihilist1
post Jun 12 2012, 10:17 AM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Jun 12 2012, 08:56 AM) *
All our lives we have been educated and sometimes forced to overcome our weak points and get better at some things. There's an American dude, who's living here in Romania, old friend of mine and he aims to start a project based on career re-orientation for young people working in environments not allowing them to express their full potential, based on their real strengths and talents.

In a nutshell, his concept is based on the fact that in our society, folks are always forced to work on their weak points and in this way, they totally neglect their strong ones, ending up doing things which maybe they were not meant for, thus never achieving their full potential as human beings and of course, not being happy.

He is very fond of artists and he likes to talk to a lot of us in some of the bands here, as he thinks we are a good inspiration source for the people he aims to help.

Now, I took a test based on answering 180 questions, each of them having 20 seconds to be answered - this lead to discovering my top 5 strengths:

Cosmin's Top 5 Strengths

That doesn't mean that others not present, but these 5 are supposed to define you in a greater amount than any other of a total of 34.

I don't know how much I can believe these but, what I can tell you is that I was very honest with my answers in the test smile.gif - for more insight, visit www.strengthsfinder.com

If i am correct, I remember a little movie with Steve Vai (posted here on GMC) underlining that we should work on developing our strong points not our weak ones as players and I think that now I understand what he meant and I can agree.

What do you guys think about strengths vs weaknesses?

Cosmin


Maybe I misinterpreted what Vai said in that video, but I disagree with him. When we first start out, everything is our weakness. We only turn them into strengths because we practice the hell out of those techniques. There is always room for improvement and a broadening of technical horizons. I think if we just work on our strengths and ignore our weaknesses then we would miss out on a whole world of knowledge we didn't have beforehand.

I try and practice everything no matter how much I suck, because eventually, I will master it all cool.gif

I guess this is where the Doughnut Master would say:

"From one thing, learn 10,000 things."


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jun 12 2012, 10:33 AM
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Well, of course you have to try stuff before knowing which way to go, but I tend to think that each one of us is predisposed to some particular things and we may excell in those, rather than trying to make the best out of everything and not get to that point because of the difficulty in focus due to a great amount of information and too little time. Then again, I made this assumption based on the fact that not everyone can spend 100% of their time studying. If you could dedicated 8 hrs/ day to FOCUSED studying, you have all the chances of becoming, at least technically speaking, the next Guthrie Govan out there biggrin.gif


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Nihilist1
post Jun 12 2012, 10:38 AM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Jun 12 2012, 09:33 AM) *
If you could dedicated 8 hrs/ day to FOCUSED studying, you have all the chances of becoming, at least technically speaking, the next Guthrie Govan out there biggrin.gif


That's my plan! Except, I am striving to be better than him wink.gif

I know this all may seem egotistical and ridiculous, but I think we all have it in us. We just have to fight hard and keep wanting 'it' no matter what life throws at us.


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Ben Higgins
post Jun 12 2012, 10:51 AM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Jun 12 2012, 10:33 AM) *
Well, of course you have to try stuff before knowing which way to go, but I tend to think that each one of us is predisposed to some particular things and we may excell in those, rather than trying to make the best out of everything


I personally believe this.

I still think we can work to improve our weaknesses but if we acknowledge natural strengths (or anything that we gravitate towards) and devote our energy to taking them as far as they can go, we will naturally travel much further in our potential than if we held it back and transferred the energy onto trying to make everything a strength.

I know I said before that I believe on making all my weaknesses my strengths but more recently I've been accepting Vai's way of thinking. When you accept who you are, what you're good at and what you're not good at.. and you tell yourself 'I don't have to be great at everything, I can just follow this path that I am good at' then it feels like a great burden being lifted off of you.

That's another interest thing about life / learning / the journey is that beliefs change, approaches change as you learn more and more smile.gif



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Cosmin Lupu
post Jun 12 2012, 11:12 AM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Jun 12 2012, 09:51 AM) *
I personally believe this.

I still think we can work to improve our weaknesses but if we acknowledge natural strengths (or anything that we gravitate towards) and devote our energy to taking them as far as they can go, we will naturally travel much further in our potential than if we held it back and transferred the energy onto trying to make everything a strength.

I know I said before that I believe on making all my weaknesses my strengths but more recently I've been accepting Vai's way of thinking. When you accept who you are, what you're good at and what you're not good at.. and you tell yourself 'I don't have to be great at everything, I can just follow this path that I am good at' then it feels like a great burden being lifted off of you.

That's another interest thing about life / learning / the journey is that beliefs change, approaches change as you learn more and more smile.gif


Bro, I just can't wait to say 'Cheers Ben! Shall we have another pint?' and I really mean it man!


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Ben Higgins
post Jun 12 2012, 11:54 AM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Jun 12 2012, 11:12 AM) *
Bro, I just can't wait to say 'Cheers Ben! Shall we have another pint?' and I really mean it man!


That would be awesome ! biggrin.gif


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JaxN4
post Jun 12 2012, 12:27 PM
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Sounds great cosmin. I do believe this also.

Where is this test and can anyone take it?


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Dieterle
post Jun 12 2012, 02:29 PM
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Reminds me on what Rudolf Steiner wrote about child education - support their strength and talent - when they recognize who they are - no problem with managing their weakness if needed.



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SirJamsalot
post Jun 12 2012, 03:54 PM
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QUOTE (Nihilist1 @ Jun 12 2012, 02:17 AM) *
When we first start out, everything is our weakness.


I strongly disagree. One of my twin sons was born with a gentle spirit, always wanting to give and able to sympathize with others and quite willing to sacrifice for the benefit of his brother. The other twin was (and is) dominant, self confident and striving to achieve goals. My daughter when she was born had an acute awareness of her surroundings - at 6 months old, she picked up a single hair, stretched it between both hands and carefully studied it, whereas both boys at that age would have been oblivious to something so small.

These gifts they were born with - they certainly didn't learn them from my wife, myself or each other. Those strengths came natural to them, and because they had them to begin with, it was the easier path for them to take into adulthood - they practiced their strengths because they were already acquainted with those tools/gifts.

The sympathizing, gentle nature'd son (Tim) just graduated from Pepperdine with a religion major and seeks to be a missionary.
The self confident achieving son just graduated Cal Poly with a Computer Science degree and landed a job with Cisco.
My daughter, 13, works with my parents who are artists - she is an avid drawer, loves to read and write fiction and is drawn to all things creative.

My point being - when we start out, we start out with certain gifts, whether physical, mental or spiritual (kindness, loving, etc.) that are very much more apparent than our other traits. I saw this in my sons and my daughter before they were walking. And because our natural tendency as humans is to follow the path of least resistance, we use those gifts we start out with as tools to understand and manipulate the world we live in, while ignoring the other ones that don't come naturally (because it would be a struggle to start a new gift from scratch when one is already available for use). And as is the case with all things, the more you use a gift/talent, the better refined you become at using it.

What many people have a hard time with (ironicallY) is identifying their own natural gift. Why is that? Perhaps because we have grown up with it. It's kind of like air - we are born breathing it, surrounded by it, in constant contact with it - but how often do we pay attention to it unless it is blowing in our face, making itself apparent.

If you want to know your natural gifts - ask your parents and friends. They see it much better than you do, I guarantee it.

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I try and practice everything no matter how much I suck, because eventually, I will master it all


I strongly AGREE with this!

Many regards, and keep rockin!
Chris

This post has been edited by SirJamsalot: Jun 12 2012, 03:58 PM


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Ben Higgins
post Jun 12 2012, 06:35 PM
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QUOTE (SirJamsalot @ Jun 12 2012, 03:54 PM) *
I strongly disagree. One of my twin sons was born with a gentle spirit, always wanting to give and able to sympathize with others and quite willing to sacrifice for the benefit of his brother. The other twin was (and is) dominant, self confident and striving to achieve goals. My daughter when she was born had an acute awareness of her surroundings - at 6 months old, she picked up a single hair, stretched it between both hands and carefully studied it, whereas both boys at that age would have been oblivious to something so small.

These gifts they were born with - they certainly didn't learn them from my wife, myself or each other. Those strengths came natural to them, and because they had them to begin with, it was the easier path for them to take into adulthood - they practiced their strengths because they were already acquainted with those tools/gifts.

The sympathizing, gentle nature'd son (Tim) just graduated from Pepperdine with a religion major and seeks to be a missionary.
The self confident achieving son just graduated Cal Poly with a Computer Science degree and landed a job with Cisco.
My daughter, 13, works with my parents who are artists - she is an avid drawer, loves to read and write fiction and is drawn to all things creative.

My point being - when we start out, we start out with certain gifts, whether physical, mental or spiritual (kindness, loving, etc.) that are very much more apparent than our other traits. I saw this in my sons and my daughter before they were walking. And because our natural tendency as humans is to follow the path of least resistance, we use those gifts we start out with as tools to understand and manipulate the world we live in, while ignoring the other ones that don't come naturally (because it would be a struggle to start a new gift from scratch when one is already available for use). And as is the case with all things, the more you use a gift/talent, the better refined you become at using it.

What many people have a hard time with (ironicallY) is identifying their own natural gift. Why is that? Perhaps because we have grown up with it. It's kind of like air - we are born breathing it, surrounded by it, in constant contact with it - but how often do we pay attention to it unless it is blowing in our face, making itself apparent.

If you want to know your natural gifts - ask your parents and friends. They see it much better than you do, I guarantee it.


Brilliant post Chris ! You've described something eloquently that many us struggle to put into words smile.gif

And congrats to your children for their achievements smile.gif


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Gitarrero
post Jun 12 2012, 07:18 PM
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I'm a strong believer in developing your strengths, though you shouldn't completely ignore your weaknesses, depending on what they are and how they can possibly affect your life.

I also couldn't agree more to what Chris said. We are all born with certains abilities or gifts and it is just natural to use them to your advantage.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jun 12 2012, 08:27 PM
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I also think Chris' post is a good proof to the fact that each of us has gifts and talents which are pretty obvious from an early age, although we are not always encouraged to pursue a road based on what we have. I think we owe it to ourselves to explore and find the best ways to become the best 'US' we can be.



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SirJamsalot
post Jun 12 2012, 08:36 PM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Jun 12 2012, 10:35 AM) *
Brilliant post Chris ! You've described something eloquently that many us struggle to put into words smile.gif

And congrats to your children for their achievements smile.gif


Many thanks. It's been a whirlwind of activity around the house for the past 2 months. Boys graduating from school, moving out of dorms, massive amounts of programming and frustration at work, and still finding time to burn the midnight-oil with learning songs for my band. I think we're all settled in for the near future now and I'm very proud of my kids for their accomplishments and determination.

My kids thank you as well for the kind words.

Chris!


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post Jun 12 2012, 08:56 PM
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QUOTE (Nihilist1 @ Jun 12 2012, 09:17 AM) *
Maybe I misinterpreted what Vai said in that video, but I disagree with him. When we first start out, everything is our weakness. We only turn them into strengths because we practice the hell out of those techniques. There is always room for improvement and a broadening of technical horizons. I think if we just work on our strengths and ignore our weaknesses then we would miss out on a whole world of knowledge we didn't have beforehand.

I try and practice everything no matter how much I suck, because eventually, I will master it all cool.gif

I guess this is where the Doughnut Master would say:

"From one thing, learn 10,000 things."


I also am not sure I agree with what Vai said in that video. He says something to the effect that he concentrates on his strengths and ignored his weaknesses. The first thing that came in my mind when he said that was if he developed his strengths AND worked on improving his weaknesses would he be twice as good a player as he is now? Just a thought, but I tend to believe you need to do both. Like you say everything is a weakness when we first start out, which in itself implies that anything can be turned into a strength, if practiced and developed with that goal in mind.


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Arpeggio
post Jun 13 2012, 12:45 AM
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I think a generally weak area for guitarists can be ear training and aural perception. There's not much out there on this subject, I have a lot more work to do with it.

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JesseJ
post Jun 13 2012, 04:42 AM
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Yah for me my weakness has always been my ear. And although I think it is very important to develop your strengths , you cant just give up on something and be like oh that's my weak area so i'm not even going to try. For me personally I know I am going to be working on my ear for a long time and it is going to be hard but I am not going to give up on it . At the same time I am going to keep working on my strong areas because I want to be a good all around guitarist .


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dark dude
post Jun 13 2012, 02:21 PM
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I agree with Nihilist, Christian and the rest of those guys - there's a difference between ignoring your weaknesses and focusing on what you are a bit better at, not because you've not practiced anything else, but because you just 'get it' more or it works better for you.

I'm sure those players with small fingers didn't have the easiest time when learning (I'm thinking along the lines of Jess Lewis here), and had they ignored doing stretches and practicing relatively stretchy licks (i.e. one of their weaknesses), they wouldn't be as good as they are now.

Sure, these players wouldn't then decide to base their technique around super-stretchy licks, but would use what they are better at to make more progress.

A little effort can turn a weakness into something manageable, and in some cases, a strength (as perhaps you didn't understand a part of that area properly, and all it took was a good explanation/the right exercise).

I understand what's being said, being able to get more out of an apparent strength in a shorter amount of time than an apparent weakness, but don't be so quick to shun that weakness, it may just need the right info. to push it past its tipping point.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jun 13 2012, 04:05 PM
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Nobody says the cat is only black or white wink.gif the human individual represents a very complex system and you may never know what will happen in a certain situation unless you try. Adam has a point here smile.gif


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derper
post Jun 16 2012, 07:51 AM
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I saw Vai say that same thing, and I originally disagreed with it completely. For example....I've improved SO MUCH in the last 6 months, by working on my weaknesses!!


But, I think the REAL core of this statement, assumes that you are completely trained. For example, in a recent Guitar Player article, Joe Satriani says that he "doesn't practice anymore". He goes on to explain that when he was young, he would spend 8 hours playing every mode and scale in every position until he could play them PERFECTLY. He says that, since then, he no longer needs to really "practice".


So really, with Vai/Satriani players, there probably IS a point at which you can benefit from leaning into your strengths and avoiding weaknesses. For the rest of us mortals, you had BETTER work on your weaknesses if you ever want to become a better player!! tongue.gif




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