What are the shortcomings that you perceived about yourself, and how did they restrict your strengths?
Both, what you perceive as your shortcomings and your strengths are respective to a certain standard you have in mind. So instead of looking at shortcomings and strengths, let us look at how we come to create such standards in the first place. This is the deeper question isn’t it?
For example, if you live in a tribal society, you would consider your strengths and weaknesses as a person mainly on the physical level. Your capacity to hunt and gather food, your capacity to survive in the midst of the elements of nature would contribute as your strength and weakness.
On the other hand, if you live in a society which is basically based on information technology, you would judge your strengths and weaknesses on the basis of your capacity to work on computers.
These are just some very simple examples of how we create standards in our minds. Likewise we create standards in every area of our life. In fact it is incorrect to say that we create standards, even this requires a certain level of awareness of how our minds work. Most of the times, these standards are created by our schools, parents, society and religion. Since the time we are born, we are told how to behave, how to be successful, how to be respectable, how to gain power in society. Al these are ways by which our minds have been conditioned. At the time these conditioning happened, one is not even aware that they have happened. By the time we reach adulthood, we are completely schooled to by everyone to fit into society. We are made into a rat that has to run the race. Even if you win the race, you would still be a rat.
So the question for me is not to count my strengths and weaknesses, but to understand all the conditioning that has taken place. I would like to question the standards that society has placed in my mind and expects me to confirm to. In an economic, industrialized society, intelligence is assumed to be the capacity to earn money preferably through a job in a software company. As an individual, I would like to question this notion of intelligence. Is the capacity to operate a computer intelligence? Our schools train us to compete and strive and gain success in society through academics. I would like to question this whole notion of competition and desire to seek success. I would like to question whether all this is really what can be called intelligence.
When we think in terms of strengths and weaknesses, we are always in conflict within our self. We are something and we want to become something else. This constant desire to become something else always keep us striving and struggling. We need to ask whether a mind in conflict can ever be an intelligent mind?