You Don’t Know What You’re Good At

If you pay attention, life is a series of discoveries about things you’re good at.

Many value-creating activities in a complex market society are things you can’t really understand or explain until you’re doing them. There’s no way of knowing whether your unique blend of disposition, habits, experiences, instincts, character, and information will better handle, say, an interaction between a lawyer and an accountant than the average person.

You discover strengths in context. Think about someone you would love to have with you in a difficult meeting. Do you think they took a test in school that told them, “You’re skill is being someone others want to have with them in difficult meetings”? Of course not.

Yet this skill creates untold value, and if they figure this out, and learn through trial and error how to hone it and where to apply it where it’s valued most, they can capture a ton of that value.

Not only will your unique skills applied in the right context create value for yourself and others, utilizing them makes life and work more enjoyable.

But there are no shortcuts.

The fastest way to find and refine them is to stop doing things you hate, things you’re bad at, and things no one else values.

Whatever’s left is fair game and you just have to try it. Throw yourself into lots of contexts. Take every opportunity.

Then, as you start to notice things that are hard for others but easy for you, see if you can do more of those and in higher leverage situations.

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