I wanted to share with you a quick thought I had on both game and on life. Sort of a model I have for the world, and specifically an answer to the questions: “What creates success?” and “What is the proper way to learn?”

There are really two schools of thought on the matter.

  1. Work on Your Weaknesses

This is the traditional method, the one you’re taught in school. Because you can graduate from high school a lot more easily by being mediocre at everything than you can by being great at math but terrible at history.

But this line of thinking is clearly not a great indicator of the skills that will produce success in life. A world-class musician or athlete can have a life that’s the envy of many of his academically successful peers. Even beyond these extreme cases, the payout for being truly excellent in one area often dwarfs what you lose by poor performance in other areas.

  1. Focus on Your Strengths

This is the alternative approach. For example, if you’re seven feet tall, you should focus on basketball rather than gymnastics. In terms of real-world payout, this is often the better approach. This is how I mostly teach game as well. If a guy is good verbally and has a serious demeanor but no rhythm . . . I’d rather he excel at bar game than work his ass off to become average on the dance floor.

But I’ve realized more and more, the better I’ve gotten at the “games” of women and life, that there is a limit to this approach.

There are some essential skills you just can’t bypass if you want to be successful. If an athlete is great at his sport but he has no financial discipline and a gambling problem, there’s no amount of athletic talent that will keep him rich.

If a CEO is successful financially but has a fatal heart attack at age twenty-five due to stress and poor diet, he’ll be just as dead rich, as he would have been poor.

To bring it back to game, if a guy gets lots of dates but never closes them, he needs to focus on closing his existing dates rather than on getting more dates to not close.

Here’s the fundamental difference in the two game examples above: The nightclub isn’t a necessary element; it’s an optional one. Getting from an in-person meeting to sex IS a necessary element. A weakness in this area can’t be masked or ignored—it must be dealt with directly.

So should you focus on your strengths? Or your weaknesses?

Your strengths will determine the heights you can reach in life. Your weaknesses will determine whether you can benefit from them in the long term—i.e., how you tackle and manage your weaknesses determines consistency and sustainability.

So in short: Mainly focus on your strengths . . . BUT, when you notice a weakness, ask yourself if it’s a necessary piece of the puzzle. If it is, there’s no way around working on it, and in fact, it’s likely among your highest leverage areas for growth and success.

By the way, speaking of the right way to grow in game, check out this article from the crew at datingadvice.com