Think about the most successful person you know. Now think about what makes that person so successful.
Chances are they have found something they are extremely good at and have exploited it to the nth degree. Tiger Woods, Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Tom Hanks and Warren Buffet are all names that come to mind. These individuals all have truly found what they are good at and have gone to great lengths to hone their skills.
How does one know what they are good at in the first place? Dumb question you say? Well not everyone reading this is like that guy who knew in 5th grade that he wanted to fly aircrafts all his life. It just doesn’t turn out that way for most people.
Finding out what you are good at doesn’t have to be that difficult though. Sure you can take an online aptitude test, but those are boring. Ride with me, let’s just go find it.
Simple Right Hand vs. Left Hand Exercise
Let’s first start out by taking out a piece of paper and pen.
1. Write your name as carefully as possible with your right hand [if this is your dominant hand].
2. Then write your name again, only this time with your left hand [or your non-dominant hand].
Now take a look at what you wrote. What do you notice?
Hopefully you will notice the one written with your dominant hand was easier, is more legible, and probably didn’t take much effort. The one written with your non-dominant hand is still probably legible, but tell the truth, it wasn’t as easy to write it and required a lot more effort.
This is the same way with the things you are good at. The things that come natural to you are the things you are good at. They will almost be effortless to you. What do they often say about the greats? They make it all look easy. Well that’s because for them it is.
Now think about what you are good at in the work place. What comes natural to you? Is it analyzing numbers, writing reports, organizing meetings, speaking in meetings, office politicking, bullshitting? Whatever the case, I am sure you know what this might be.
You Are What You Consume
What magazines do you subscribe to? What do you dream about? What kind of books do you like to read? What websites do you visit most often? [besides ploomy.com of course] What television shows or movies do you like to watch? Is there a theme or constant in all of these things?
Whether you realize it or not, you have developed a certain expertise or taste for a particular thing. We as humans tend to gravitate towards the things we like and no better way to illustrate this is by consumption. You may have to do some digging, but with some careful observation and being real with yourself, you may find that one thing you are good at.
Ask Your Friends and Family
Don’t you just love how your friends and family always have that uncanny ability to remember things you say without you having any recollection of it?
Your friends and family know you the best. They have seen you in action over time, in almost every situation and know all of your moves. In this way, they hold very valuable insight into you as a person. Have a frank conversation with one of them and ask them what you are good at. They may be able to point out things in a certain way that you were unaware of.
Leave No Stone Unturned
“Persistence isn’t using the same tactics over and over. That’s just annoying. Persistence is having the same goal over and over.” — Seth Godin
If you go searching for something you are good at, you might not find it on the first try. Heck, you might not find it after the second, third or even fourth try. The key is to keep trying. Let the naysayers keep drinking their haterade all they want. Never give up.
When you find what you are good at, you will know. Your food will taste better, your coffee will taste stronger, the sun will shine and you will be happier. No, not really, but good luck!