If you look at your successes and failures, day to day, forgetting little things, not remembering where you put something, not seeing something right in front of you, little accidents, etc. those errors are not erased by anything you do well. They merely detract from whatever successes you have.
For example, you may make a lot of money at something then lose a lot of money at something else. One wipes out the other. Having made it does not negate the fact that you lost it because you end up net zero rather than with extra savings.
We need to forget about what we do well and focus on what we do wrong to stop wastage of time, energy and assets. This is why our greatest strength is to know your weakness because in knowing your weakness you stop the wastage and become much stronger.
Let us look at our greatest weakness. There are different kinds of weaknesses but here we will look at the individual personal weaknesses such as; hangups, personality flaws, character traits and, generic or genetic weakness of the human species. Obviously i cannot cover individual weakness in an article due to how varied they are. This must be done on a one to one personal study. Here, we can discuss the generic weakness of the human being, which is of course applicable to everybody.
This topic is basically the mind and the brain. I am not certain if it is an aspect of the physical brain or the psychological personality which is the cause. Frankly it does not matter at this point because we interact with both of those constantly through our thoughts.
Let us look at one major flaw in our thinking process. That you believe that when you have seen something, you understand it.
When you see something and think you have understood it, your mind begins to ignore it because it believes it understands it, it is completed and without doubt. Your mind is now closed. For this vital concept to be deeply accepted or understood, you need to find some personal examples for yourself so that you can see the truth in it.
Recall any event in which you are discussing something and you are certain you know what the other person is talking about such that you are ready to cut them off mid-sentence, but they continue and eventually you realize that there was something you had missed or misunderstood.
For example in a car accident situation, which thank goodness I have not had an accident, but while driving right now in Malaysia which is total chaos, is where this realization has come to me. When you see another car for example in another lane, and you acknowledge you have seen it, your mind may no longer pay attention to that car and will jump to another car or the song on the radio, and you will forget about that car which was close to you in the next lane, and you may swerve into him or you may not notice him swerving into you, and boom, you have an accident.
In aviation, pilots are taught to touch the instruments with their finger instead of just looking at the gauge when checking a reading. Piloting a plane is of course so critical that we cannot take the chance of allowing the flaw of our brain to think it has seen and registered the correct reading, but in fact it was all in the imagination. We may have not look properly and just imagined we saw the reading we expected to see. In this way, a fatal mistake may happen.
If you can take one thing from this article, it is to always remember that even though you see or hear something and think that you have seen or heard it fully and accurately, you actually may have only glanced at it, imagined you have the information and promptly forgotten about it.
Realizing this flaw, put in extra effort to pay attention. For example, when driving and you see a car that you think may merge into your lane, point to it with your finger. This requires a little more mental effort and gets your brain to be more present and awake at the moment it registers what you have seen.
In time, when you see something in an important situation, or as general practice, say it out loud. I learnt this in zen. When you are not doing something in public, when you pick up your cup for example, you say out loud; ‘I am picking up the cup’ and think; ‘I am drinking’. When you touch anything, or do anything in a mundane action, consciously and out loud say what you are doing. This helps train your mind to be more present with everything. Hopefully in time your mind awakens to be more present at all times with everything.
In this way you are acknowledging your greatest weakness which is a mind that only imagines it sees anything in its entirety and forgets almost instantly. In seeing and correcting this flaw you gain a mind that starts to pay more attention to everything.
It only takes a little thought to realize how many errors will be avoided by this simple alteration of the way your mind works.