You’re Talented! What are You Going to Do With It?

You're Talented! What are You Going to Do With It?

It’s easy to appreciate your talents when you can throw a football into a garbage can at 40 yards or do long division without a calculator. However, more often than not our unique talents are not so visible. Just because they’re not easily recognized does not mean we don’t have them though! The sooner you can identify your own, the sooner you can maximize them.

The key to figuring out your unique talents is looking for all of those things that you enjoy doing that other people can’t stand. A common fallacy is that everyone else thinks like us or prefers the same things. This is not true. We all have different preferences and everyone has a set of niche skills. Here are three questions to find and develop those skills.

  1. When am I the happiest and what am I doing?
  2. What activities bring the most fulfillment into my life?
  3. What do I find effortless / what activity quickly gets me into a flow state?

I asked myself these questions and used the answers to identify a couple of my own talents.

  • I’m observant. I appreciate small details and I’m more aware of my surroundings than most people.
  • I’m a good listener and people feel heard when they’re around me.
  • I’m good at reading comprehension and writing. Since grade school I’ve had a natural ability with words.
  • Etc.

In recognizing my talents I can focus on developing them. For instance, I’ll never be able to tell a joke like Bill Burr or be as outgoing as Jamie Foxx. However, I could be a world-class interviewer like Larry King or Cal Fussman.

Where Most People Screw Up

Figuring out what you’re good at is important because it determines what you do with your life. If you know your strengths and weaknesses you’ll know what kind of job your suited for. For instance, being an entrepreneur is fucking difficult. You face massive pressure and from what I gather, your company is often on the edge of failure. If you hate uncertainty, trying to be the next Elon Musk is a recipe for disaster. Just as the guy who gets high on risk will be miserable working back office at an accounting firm.

How many people would enjoy their lives more if they made money doing things that suited them? While you can blame some unhappiness on unfulfilling work, in plenty of cases people find end up doing things that contradict their nature. The worst job I ever had was teaching English in Russia. I had to speak for six hours a day and keep control of rowdy children. It played on all my weaknesses and I dreaded opening up the door to my classroom. But the work is not to blame! Most of the other teachers enjoyed teaching and planned to renew their contracts.

If you’re like every other human being on this planet, you’ve also done a few things that you hated. It can be helpful to meditate on what you found so disagreeable about the situation and base future decisions on avoiding similar situations. Taking a job that doesn’t fit your personality is an easy way to make yourself miserable, regardless of how much money they throw at you. That’s why it pays to figure out your talents and plan your career (or lack of career) accordingly.

Finally, if you wish that you were born with different skills, the best thing is to accept yourself and move on. You nature is as easily changed as your height. The funny thing is there are people out there who wish they were talented in all the ways that you are. Nobody can be great at everything but we can all excel at something. Are you ready to take ownership of your talents?

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