A truth in life is that we are all flawed human beings. We all make mistakes. We aren’t perfect, and no matter how hard we try, we can never be perfect. This article is about finding ways to embrace your flaws, and transform your weakness into strengths, so you can create the life God wants you to live.
Rule #1 in wealth-building is that you don’t have to be perfect and you shouldn’t try to be. In fact, if you are trying to be perfect, I am imploring you to stop the destructive pursuit of perfection right now.
Striving for perfection will only lead you to madness, because it’s a destination that’s impossible to reach. Besides, life is WAY more fun when you learn to embrace your flaws, and find creative ways to transform your weaknesses into strengths. It’s your flaws that make you who you are. Stop being embarrassed and ashamed of them. Overcoming your weaknesses will show you who you really are.
I’m already hearing the next question you’re asking yourself: But, if the goal isn’t to be perfect… What is the goal I should be striving for?
Here’s what I’d recommend: Set a new goal of finding ways to be successful while still being your true self. That mindset-change includes accepting the fact that your weaknesses are part of your story. And overcoming your weaknesses is the journey to live your dreams. Rather than being embarrassed or ashamed by your weaknesses, and afraid of from them, embrace them to create the truest version of yourself.
After all, your weaknesses are what make you a unique human being. You can only live a one-of-a-kind cool life-story by learning how to work in harmony with your strengths and weaknesses. I really believe that this is the key to finding yourself, and the life you’re supposed to live.
Here’s a story on how I had to overcome my own weaknesses, and how I learned to embrace them to make me stronger, rather than allowing them to make me feel inferior to others.
Growing up, I struggled pretty significantly succeeding in middle and high school. I was so bad at “school” that I almost failed out of high school because of it. I didn’t know it at the time, but I struggled pretty badly with ADD and ADHD. (Attention Deficit Disorder.)
At times my low grades made me feel stupid, but just because I wasn’t great at school, I knew I wasn’t dumb. My brain just rebelled against normal learning experiences. The process of linear-learning was just super boring to me. The repetitive steps of school classes: Step 1: Lecture. Step 2: Study. Step 3: Test to prove learning. It was all super boring to me. I had more fun staring out of the windows and daydreaming than I did listening to my teachers.
These environments didn’t captivate my mind, or inspire me to want to learn at all. I had more fun experimenting with my thoughts in real life. I was happier learning on my own, where I didn’t have to follow a strict set of classroom rules.
I think I graduated high school in the bottom 3% of my class with a D- average. Honestly, the only reason why I graduated high school is probably because my family demanded it from me. If I would have been from a lesser educated class, or a lesser-supportive family, I may have slipped through the cracks of tests and grades, and been viewed as “stupid” or a “failure” by educated society.
It is sad to me now to think that the tests I took in school categorized me as “dumb.” When in reality, I was a very smart, creative, and intellectually-ambitious person on the inside.
I was put on “academic probation” my freshman year, and was in danger of being expelled the following semester if my grades didn’t change. It was frustrating because I knew I wasn’t dumb, but my grades said I was. The fear of embarrassment pushed me to start figuring out why this was happening. For the first time in my life, I took my education and life into my own hands. I realized I had to find a way to care about my life, or nobody else was going to do it for me.
Honestly, I went to a doctor when I was 21-years-old, and I complained about struggling with school, even though I knew I was smart enough. He wrote me a prescription for an ADD medication, called Ritalin, and I began taking the pills. It helped a ton in the beginning. For the first time in my life, my performance and reputation in school began to change. But I also learned another very valuable lesson along the way: It’s a dangerous thing to rely solely on drugs to improve your life.
At first, the drugs made studying an experience I loved Ritalin was like a super-stimulant when it entered my blood stream, and it opened up huge new doors of perspective and discipline that helped me focus. I was able to easily visualize intellectual concepts that I’d never seen before, and it made it possible for me to study for hours on end. This drug gave me the focus to be able to put smaller learning experiences into actions that led me to accomplishing long-term academic goals. It was a life-altering experience for me. It was the first time I realized that I could succeed at anything I wanted to do.
I made the dean’s list my sophomore year in college, and the achievement shocked me. I’d never experienced such academic recognition or success before, and after failing most tests all my life, it did feel awesome to succeed. As I made that transition from feeling like I was stupid, to being successful, I had a revelation. I saw that the trick to succeeding in life wasn’t by trying to fit in and be “normal” like everyone else.
The way to succeed in life was to embrace who I was, and find creative ways to transform my weaknesses into strengths. In this case, I learned that the power of medication could help me overcome a learning disability that was derailing my potential. It was an eye-opening experience to realize that I am always the one in control of my future. I shouldn’t wait for people, or school, to fix my life for me. It was always up to me to think creatively, and solve my own problems, because nobody else was going to do it for me.
But this article is not about how great medication can be. Because I found out that taking drugs to solve problems can sometimes lead to other, more harmful problems, like addiction.
After using ritalin for over a year, I started to become addicted to ritalin. I started realizing that these powerful pills were also a potent narcotic that were getting me high. And I liked getting high. It was like a rush of euphoric, intellectual-sensations every time I took a pill. The pills gave me the jittery, speed buzz of crystal-meth, and the floaty, short-term euphoric sensation of cocaine at the same time. I started to love the high they gave me, and I began abusing these drugs for the wrong reasons.
After becoming dependent on these drugs for my performance, I started to ask myself some hard questions: Am I using these drugs because they’re helping me succeed? Or am I using them because I like that they get me high? Did I really need these drugs in my life?
I got to a point in life where I became sick of the highs and lows of drug abuse. So at the age of 21 years old, I decided I was going to walk away from all drugs forever. I started a new sober life my senior year of college, and I decided I was going to take control of my life on my own, and ask God for help transforming my weaknesses into strengths, rather than being dependent on drugs to do this.
Coffee is now the strongest stimulant I take, and that’s just enough to help me stay focused. The rest of my success comes from hard work, discipline, and the inspiration I get from God to just keep fighting against my weaknesses so I can reach my dreams in life.
In fact, I have learned a lot about myself in the last 15 years. I have learned that I am just not good in normal roles like “student” or “employee,” so I don’t even try to fit into being normal anymore. I have learned that I am at my best when I am blazing my own trail, and allowing my ADD to juggle many balls at once.
I have learned that I am happier when I find hobbies that I can turn into multiple businesses to make a living, rather than relying on a full-time job to provide one main income source. This has allowed me to use my ADD to help me become successful, rather than struggling through life and being looked at as stupid because of it.
Here are the four “Hobbies”, I mean, “Businesses,” I engage in on a daily basis that help turn my ADD into a strength to build wealth.
My first business is an independent sales rep.
My main income-producing “hobby” is being an outside sales rep for a promotional products company. For two years in 2014, I went door-to-door introducing myself to local businesses, and asking them for the opportunity to be their vendor for all their promotional needs. During that time, I got a lot of, “No’s,” from potential clients, but I also got a few, “Yes’s.” It was those “Yes’s” that led me to be successful starting this business. It is now my main stream of income.
I now sell about $300K a year of products, and I genuinely enjoy helping my clients accomplish their goals. I now have the freedom to work mostly from home, and since I am independent, I have the ability to set my own hours, and choose how and where I want to work. It’s a fun business that allows me to do what I love: Helping people accomplish their goals.
My second hobby is a rental property manager.
I’ve learned that I occasionally like to work with my hands, get dirty, and fix things. Once I owned my first home, I realized I liked all the little projects home ownership brought me. I decided that buying a rental property would be an exciting hobby for me to try, and it would bring me another stream of income. My rental property makes me $620 a month in cash, and it allows me endless opportunities to let my ADD go wild when something comes up that I have to fix.
My third hobby is being professional investor.
About three years ago, I discovered I love personal finance. Personal finance is like a real-life, challenging puzzle that I love putting together. Personal finance allows me to evaluate the goals I want to achieve in life, and strategize how to have enough money so that I can reach those goals as I go through my life.
To do this, I started viewing my bank accounts, and investment accounts, as their own independent business. I like to evaluate every financial decision I make like it’s a business decision, and my job is to make my business succeed. I always ask myself, “Is this financial decision taking me closer to my dreams? Or pushing me further away from my dreams?”
“Saving money,” and “Investing” have become more than just passive actions I take to retire one day. I feel involved with each decision I make, because as my net-worth grows, I feel like I am watching one of my businesses succeed.
This mindset of seeing my finances as a business has inspired a greater dream I am now pursuing: I want to be a professional investor one day. I started this business with $5,000 five years ago. I’ve now grown it into an asset collection of stocks, real-estate, and cash worth around $220,000. What a fun, and productive hobby to have. It all started with viewing my finances like a business, and working hard to succeed in this business.
And finally, my fourth Hobby, or business, is a blogger at this website.
(I actually had to write this section a day later, because while writing this post, my renters called to tell me that the 11-year old electric range in the rental died. So my ADD jumped to fix that problem, and I just got home after ordering a new $600 range from Home Depot. All in a fun day’s work 🙂
I love writing. My soul is a writer, so I feel like this hobby, or business, is something I am destined to do. I am not profitable on this blog yet, but this blog is slowly getting bigger and bigger. We’re only 500 views away from hitting our 20,000th view.
I am almost ready to publish my first book and I plan to give it away for free on this site. I think that will draw some attention, and over the next 2-5 years, I truly believe this blog can start earning me some income and become a new business that I can manage. So thank you for supporting us by reading. I am eternally grateful.
In conclusion, I am writing all of this to say, my success in life started when I decided to stop trying to be “normal” because “normal” wasn’t working for me. In fact, I failed at being “normal.” But when I embraced who I really was, and the unique ways that I see work and life, I naturally started to become myself and I started to succeed at my dreams.
Transforming my weaknesses into strengths was the first step that started leading me toward wealth and my dream life. So do you have any examples of how you’ve turned your weaknesses into strengths?