The difference between a real advantage or disadvantage – and how you can learn it

Context: keep it in mind

In the western world, we are accustomed to experiencing life in terms of pros and cons, advantages or disadvantages, and other similar categories.

What we tend to forget, though, is that when it comes to labelling a quality as an advantage or disadvantage, context is king, followed second by our outcomes and intentions in that specific context.

Being able to choose how and when to put those qualities to use can be very liberating, to say the least.

However, that choice takes place first inside your own experience, and having a point of comparison tends to be the driver for choosing. For example, if you only have ever been exposed to one single style of transportation (say, walking in this case) in your life you will most likely lack the contrast between how walking and others like flying, a pushbike, or a car can have advantages and disadvantages given your specific situation.

Hence your choice will be limited to the ones you have experienced or been exposed to.

As noted in the article The Advantages of Dyslexia by Matthew H. Schneps, published in American Scientific Mind Magazine:

“Nothing productive takes place when everything is the same. Neurological differences similarly drive the engine of society and create the contrasts between hot and cold that generate new ideas. Impairments in one area can lead to advantages in others, and it is these differences that drive progress”.

In short, the article proposes how, in a variety of contexts, Dyslexia can give people who ‘suffer’ from it major advantages in the way they process their thinking.

These advantages are varied and go beyond the scope of this article; however, the point of this article is to illustrate how it is up to each of us to build the awareness needed in order put our skills to use with reference to our intentions and the situation we are in.

Please note that the way in which you can do this is not only by building contrast. This is just one of an array of options you can use.

Your turn

Before you go ahead and start putting this into practise, here is a quote from the article mentioned above that you may find inspiring.

“After all, our conceptions of ‘advantage’ and ‘disadvantage’ have meaning only in the context of the task that needs to be performed”.

Now it is your turn. Start paying attention to the meaning you give to things and how you can change that meaning to suit your intentions and context.

Edited by Jules Collingwood, NLP Trainer at INSPIRITIVE.

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