How do you discover what you are good at? is it by design or accident ?. For some, innate abilities manifest at an early age. Triggered by an external event, an accidental discovery, or they simply know. At the same time, others spend a lifetime without knowing what makes them unique. The journey of self-discovery is a personal one, attempted by many and realized by a few.
To increase your chances of success, we must first examine the chemistry of self-discovery and growth. Though not an exact science, the formula points to a standard set of elements that should act as way pointers in your journey.
1. Modelling Values: To unlock your potential, you need to Seed, Nurture, and Grow your values. Start by asking what type of person you want to become instead of asking what you were born to do.
Do you have a role model in your life? Someone you look up too? A person of great admiration.
We are drawn to those we see our best selves in. why not start your journey by modeling their value blueprint. We tend to admire the objects of successful people. The cars, the money, the glamour is what catches our attention. Instead, focus on what made them who they are, their values.
The shift therefore has to be from “ I want to be rich like Jeff Bezos ” to “ I want to be daring like Jeff Bezos”
Meditate on the gap between who you are now and who you want to become. Not the gap between the type of stuff you have and wish you had. To achieve the same heights as those whom you admire, work on the differential between character.
2. Bridging the Gap: Bridging the gap between who you are now and whom you want to become involves a process. To survive the impending metamorphosis, you need a guide. Often taking the form of a Mentor or Advisor that imparts wisdom, through which you begin to make sense of your transformation.
The problem arises when we are shown the error of our ways, our ego and pride blind us from accepting valuable advice and instruction. Though we want to improve, it’s always conditional. The condition is that the advice or realization must not disrupt my view of the world or my existing self-image.
“ Yes I want to improve but it must not challenge or disrupt my beliefs, self image and worldview”.
This conditional approach is why transformation is painful. We need to unlearn who we are first to receive the learning that will help us become who we want to be.
3. Life will teach you what others can’t: Some lessons are meant for you alone. As you gather momentum in your journey, your path to self-discovery becomes unique and curated. That’s when life steps in with some big lessons. Regretfully, we have an ugly name for this, Failure. The very word inspires nothing but fear and disdain.
“We want to succeed without the pain of failing,” – but it is in the pain that we find the lesson for sustained success. It’s not easy to fail because what other people think of us is a part of our success narrative. When we externalize success, we find ourselves in a race. Every missed step is seen as a step gained by the winner. We have this fallacy because we think we are all running the same race; in reality, we are not.
See yourself as someone walking through a forest, filled with puzzles that unlock new and exciting roads that lead to a great adventure. To solve some puzzles, it’s mandatory not to succeed. What’s important is the attempt, not the result. The objective is to grow as a person while you walk down different paths, realizing truths about yourself.
Allow life to teach you the lessons you need; if you have the right values and mentors in your life, you will have the tools to internalize these lessons.
4. The four signs of flow: At a point in your journey, you will start to get an inclination as to what your natural abilities are. There are four, in particular,
- Effortlessness: The one activity, craft, or discipline that does not make you tired no matter how much of it you do. The more you engage, the more you are energized.
- Hunger: You have an insatiable desire to learn more about that particular craft, discipline, or activity. Books, Podcasts, and youtube is the start. You have a natural curiosity to learn and grasp all things relevant to your activity of choice. You relish in the curiosity.
- Augmenting: You can deconstruct and reconstruct elements in your field to create new models and solutions. Like a kid with lego, you can build fascinating concepts, structures, prototypes, innovations, and a myriad of other things with little to no instruction. The inspiration to innovate and augment flow from you and through you
- Application: You start to see how you can apply your craft or discipline to overcome challenges intuitively. You know the lock and know which key fits. Your Applicative intelligence is only seconded by your observational intelligence to spot the problem.
If you see the above four elements in a particular craft, discipline, skill or filed you are currently engaged in, then you are headed in the right direction. If not, then you have a call to adventure. Keep knocking on doors and turning rocks till you find that one thing in which the above begins to manifest
5. Converting what you are good at into material success: Many people in the world have discovered their element but have no material success either by choice, circumstance, or lack of know-how. Learning and mastering your craft is different from monetizing it. Being business savvy is one thing you will have to acquire if material wealth is important to you. It’s never late or never early to invest in learning entrepreneurship and finance, the two pillars on which you could build an empire based on your skill. For others, this may not be as important. If you are content with self-mastery and the realized truths that have come with your journey, then the simple life is your abode. Your hunger is quenched through the richness of your self-discovery. You can invest in the art of teaching and expression so that you can enlighten those that rest in the shade of your wisdom.
As you embark on your journey to answer that question of what am I good at? Know that the answer is less important than the journey. The answers you seek are in the richness of your journey and not in a particular destination.