Do you remember being a kid and doing stuff you loved because you were good at it? The hours flew by and before you knew it you were being called in for dinner.
As you grew up you were probably told that you had to improve your weaknesses and instead of flying, you noticed that time began to drag.
Improving one’s weaknesses may be conventional wisdom, but it’s a terrible waste of time, talent and opportunity.
Imagine if Einstein’s mum had said to him, “Now Bert, no one can knock your knowledge of physics. But your grades are dropping in biology and literature. You should study harder in those subjects, son”. If he’d listened to his mum, our world might be a very different place.
When you play to your strengths, you have a far better chance of achieving greatness and of having big fun too! So how do you discover what your natural talents are? No 12 steps needed here, just the 3 will work.
1. Write down the things that seem easy for you. The things, which seem effortless, are often the tasks for which you have a natural aptitude.
2. Write down the things you do, and time just flies. These are often the activities for which you have a natural talent.
3. Write down all the activities that make you happy; make you smile. There’s not always any gain; you do them just because they’re interesting and fulfilling.
Looking at your three lists, identify the common activities. These are the areas in which it’s likely you have a natural aptitude or talent.
Now close your eyes and imagine doing these things all the time. Yup, because you’ve ditched the gumpf you don’t enjoy, and you’ve delegated, or outsourced it to someone who does enjoy it (weirdos) you’ll be doing all the lovely stuff instead.
Rejecting a norm can be difficult but it’s always worth giving something a go. I’m fairly sure I won’t be sitting in my rocking chair aged 90 wishing I’d spent more time learning the detailed mechanics of bookkeeping. There are thousands of people who have a natural aptitude for numbers and who will actually enjoy bookkeeping, so I say, let them do it and I’ll stop meddling. If you think about it, by not getting involved I’m ensuring that everyone is happy all of the time!
Playing to and developing your strengths is rewarding and motivating. You’ll be great at something – Really great! Your goals will stop feeling like millstones and become milestones. You’ll realise higher levels of happiness, ability, achievement and success and, the recipients of your work, your clients, will reward you for your greatness. Isn’t that the combination we’re always looking for? Loving what you do and being paid to do it.