Concentrate on your circle of competence

Hannah and I were watching a PBS television show last night. The guest was Melinda Gates of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She was talking about her philanthropic work and she was

asked her if she wished she had some skill or experience that would allow her to be more effective. She said she wished she had a degree in biology, but then she went on to quote advice she received from Warren Buffet. Buffet told her to “concentrate on your circle of competence.”

Buffet’s quote reminds me of the principle of self-renewal. The Live Conscious model suggests that self renewal comes from knowing what we value and then living in accord with our values.

I like the idea of combining Buffet’s advice about “concentrating on our circle of competence” with the Live Conscious principle of self-renewal. Putting these two concepts together, we do what we are good at if in so doing we nourish and energize ourselves. This seems like a pretty healthy recipe for a life well lived.

So what is your area of competence? Or areas of competence? Have you built your life around these areas of competence? Is it realistic to do so? It may not be. Maybe you are a competent artist, but you can’t financially support yourself creating art. If you were to pursue a career in art you might cause yourself financial hardship, depleting yourself with worry…this is not a path of self-renewal. I encourage you to combine the two criteria—define what you are good at and define the ways you nourish yourself—then look for things that satisfy both criteria.

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One Response to Concentrate on your circle of competence

  1. Guillermo January 25, 2010 at 2:48 pm #

    This is a great concept that I experience as a good fit for me at this point in my life.

    “Concentrate on our circle of competence”. Although I do not have an answer at the time of my response, I see me reviewing my values, along with my comptencies in the very near future. I am trying to define what my future looks like to me.

    Anyone in the community have a practice or exercise that might help synergize these two concepts?

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