Sometimes a defect can be an impediment, a hurdle, a hard thing to live with.
Other times a defect can help us be creative and use it to our advantage. Let me share a personal experience.
Early in my life I faced issues with my right ear, to the point that I’m almost deaf on that side. I didn’t know until I got tested around 11, and as a result of that the doctors tried to compensate for the lack of internal tissue in my inner ear to enlarge my bones so I could have a “normal” hearing. The medical care was awesome, and I was able to improve my hearing a bit, but to this moment I still must manage such imbalance in different ways.
I tell my friends that their secrets are safe with me, if they talk to my right ear, which is quite the case. 😅😅
This condition made my school days challenging, and I had to ask several times to the teachers for additional repetition of the topic, because I missed some details sometimes due to the noise around me. But then this became an advantage, because by having the teachers repeat things I was reinforcing, having an extra “class”. At first, I did not think of this that way, and of course it was not done intentionally, but later in college that became a powerful tool when needed to juggle multiple activities. Let me explain.
My parents’ financial situation was tight, and the expenses of a professional career were too much for them. Although I attended public schools, the everyday expenses and books and other materials were taking a toll on my folks, so I quickly decided that I needed to work in order to help myself and them. This job was in a daily newspaper, which was great because it was after school and it was a full-time job. The downsize was that I was home very late, at 1 or 2 AM, and classes started at 7 AM, with almost 1-hour ride on the bus.
Also, during those days I decided to pursue student leadership, which led me to become the president of the Computer Systems Engineering student counsel. This helped me tremendously to get out of the shell where I was before and I was able to create great connections in and out of the school.
So… how much time was left for studying? You can imagine. 😕
So, I resorted to the tactic I had created as a result of my early struggle. I started asking the teacher to repeat the process to solve the problems, or the definitions of any term or topic, so I could reinforce it right there in the classroom. Sometimes the subject was so easy, it was ridiculous, but I knew that I would have no time to go over it by myself.
Sounds like cheating? I will let you be the judge of that.
Have you use any defect to your advantage?