Right now, I’m in job hunting mode. Although I loved my time in The Athlete Factory, circumstances and goals have dictated that a move is required. I’m now looking for something that will challenge me on a day-to-day basis, will be enjoyable, and will allow me to continue to develop as much as the Factory did.
A tough search, but one that has to be made.
One of the applications I’ve submitted asked a question you usually don’t get until the interview stage: the dreaded ‘What would you consider to be your strengths and weaknesses?”
Personally, I don’t see this as being all that tough a question and it’s one that I think about quite often. That said, I’ve no idea if my response was a good fit for a job application or not because I’ve always struggled to get myself interviews.
Anyways, I’ve cut and paste my response below:
For a long time my biggest weakness was an inability to falter from routine – made even more dangerous by the fact that I was blissfully unaware of it for a long period of time.
The problem became most apparent after a year long competition I entered called “Scrawny to Brawny”. The competition, one based around getting the applicant a strong, muscular body, required you to log your progress each day across three different categories; Habits, Lessons, and workouts.
For the entire 365 days of the program I missed not one workout or lesson, only missing one habit on Christmas day of the program. This chain of never missing a workout continued on for a further two years after the program, meaning that I didn’t miss a single one of my roughly 750 workouts over a three year period.
On the outset, this may not seem too damaging, but the reality of it was that I was making social and relationship sacrifices to ensure none of those days were missed. Along with that, the constant fear of missing a day and “breaking the chain” had me so stressed that I got little return on that investment. In short – I got so caught up on the habit that I was unable to falter from my routine, even when the results I was looking for required it.
I’m sharing this story to convey one simple message: don’t let one goal get in the way of the overall goal. I may have been hitting a killer combo of training days, but it was costing me every other element of life.
I was just plodding along with a false sence of control and productivity, thinking it was getting me closer to my goals, without ever assessing the results. What I should’ve done instead was look at where I was, compare it to where I wanted to be, and then have a little think about what actions would reduce that gap down.
The short and curly of it is this: if you want to make change in your life, real change, your actions have to be calculated, strategic and exact. Otherwise you’re just lulling yourself into a false sence of improvement, something that can become very dangerous if left unchecked.