Murals in restaurants are on a par with the food in museums.

Murals in restaurants are on a par with the food in museums. – Peter De Vries

What are your strengths? Are you a restaurant or a museum? Do you know?

What are your strengths? Are you a restaurant or a museum? Do you know?

What does that mean?
This is a quote with a dry sense of humor, which is something I like quite a bit. Many restaurants have all kinds of artwork in them, sometimes murals which cover entire walls.

Sometimes the art is OK, but it rarely rises to the level which would qualify for a museum exhibit. After all, you’re there for the food, the art is strictly incidental.

Which brings us to the second part. Museums are about art, history, and many other things, but rarely about food. That’s pretty straight forward. If they stop for a quick bite to eat, it is strictly incidental.

The quote is about knowing what you want, and then going to the right place. If you’re hungry, you don’t go to a museum. If you want to see murals, you go to an art or history museum, right?

Why is knowing your strengths important?  
To me, this quote is about knowing your strengths and weaknesses. Know what you are good at doing and at what you are simply average. Would a restaurant spend money to advertise the greatness of their food, or the greatness of the murals on their walls?

Would a museum or art gallery advertise for their artwork and murals, or would they advertise how greatness of their food? Perhaps if they were having a special gala event, but other than that, probably not. And that is a reasonable thing to do, advertise your strengths.

Similarly, who are you, and what would you advertise yourself as being good at doing? If you were good at cooking and a mediocre painter, you’d probably mention as an introduction that you were a cook, not that you were a painter, right? That’s only natural.

But to do that, you have to be willing to consider what you are good at doing, and where you’re a little less than great. That only makes sense. But if you don’t know what your strengths are, you’ll have trouble, right?

Where can I apply this in my life?
I believe we all have more strengths than we acknowledge, or even notice. I believe that a proper defining of our strengths will require a radical and dangerous action (to our egos, at least) – asking someone else. Yep, ask someone else what your strengths are, and where they think you have room to improve.

It is important to make sure they know that you aren’t fishing for compliments, but are serious about finding out about what others think of you and your abilities. We do this at work at least once a year, and it can be a bit rough on a tender ego, but it can also be a great way to improve.

If you don’t know you have an aspect of yourself which needs a little work to improve, how will you ever get better? This is the conundrum of not knowing what you don’t know. The trick is allowing it to happen, even if it isn’t your favorite thing in the world.

In the past, it was noted that I can be kind of grumpy and snap at people, so I have been working on my grumpy. Specifically reducing it. But any time I feel a case of the grumpies coming on, I try to make sure I let people know, so that they know what to expect, and take precautions.

How would you change yourself if you had a list of all the things you did well, and all the things you could improve? I know I don’t do this often enough, and I also don’t do it as broadly as I could. But even with the limited feedback I have received over the years, I have been able to improve myself greatly.

Think of at least one person you could ask to get some feedback. Make a promise to ask them sometime in the next week. Then prepare for what you might find out. Would you pick one of your strengths and improve on it, or would you pick one of the other areas and work to bring it up instead?

Take a moment to consider what you think your strengths are, and were you could improve. Also note that they could be the same thing. As a software engineer, my strengths are coding, debugging, and problem solving. But there is always room for improvement, and my position requires me to be the best I can possibly be at these tasks.

Will you start with one of your self-defined strengths, or one of your self-defined improvement areas? What is your goal? When will you consider yourself done with that aspect of your life? How much time and effort are you willing to devote? How high a priority is it and what will you put aside to make time for this effort?

Lots of things to think about, but you can always use this quote as a bit of motivation. After all, you don’t want to be known as “museum quality food,” right?

From: Twitter, @quoteshash
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/peterdevri111726.html
Photo by Elliott P.

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