We all have weaknesses, we all have flaws in our character and in our person that prevents us from achieving the impossible goal of perfection. It's in the nature of being human and they're a part of what make us unique.
However, not all weaknesses are created equal. The same as there are different levels of talent and accolade, there are levels of weakness and mortality.
First we have the minor weaknesses, the things we're not good at but wish we were. It could be something as simple as an inability to balance a checkbook or understand a scientific idea. These are minor things that we can usually overcome with work but we usually just ignore and live with since they're mere annoyances on the grand scale of things.
Then we have our major weaknesses, flaws that are hard-wired into our lives often as trade-offs for the talents we possess and enjoy. Though with time and care we often reduce the impact they have on our lives, we can never completely get rid of them. Like a hermit struggling with people skills or a writer wrestling with math, these are gaping holes in our skill set that can never be completely filled in, no matter how hard we try. Many people spend their entire lives working around these weaknesses or trying to eliminate them, both of which are in vain.
But then there's our mortal weakness. More than just a skill we lack or a something we can't do, this is something that cuts us to the very core of our being. Something that hits us at our most primal. It's a critical, tragic flaw that we all know exists but can do nothing to stop. We can try to control it, to work around it or to somehow deal with it, but it always resurfaces, usually when we least want it, to bring tragedy back into our lives.
The ancient Greeks understood this, that's why, in their tragedies, their leads always had a fatal flaw. Be it arrogance, greed, overzealousness or a terminal lack of foresight, the main character almost always had some mortal weakness and it always brought about his or her downfall, usually in grand fashion.
Though some claim to lack such a weakness, they're blind to their own faults and that will do them more harm than any one weakness could. Knowing thyself and the flaws that we possess is more important than being remotely perfect. I know my mortal weakness, I know most of my major ones and as many minor ones as I can, I acknowledge them openly. Turning a blind eye to your weaknesses is simply giving them the opportunity to sneak up on you and hurt you all the more.
So take a moment and ponder your flaws, try to understand a side of yourself few want to see. Be honest and even brutal. It's the only way you can learn about yourself and determine where your faults rest.
Because even though you can't control your greatest weakness, knowing of it's existence and being prepared for it gives you a measure of control over it. And, if you can't eliminate something that's hurting you, controlling it is the next best thing.
And doing so will prevent you from winding up like the characters in the Greek tragedies we know and love. Because even though you can't guarantee prosperity, you can avoid tragedy and that is more than most people would be able to say if they lived a dozen lifetimes.