Unless by some ridiculous twist of fate you’re Novak Djokovic, Lionel Messi, or Steven Hawking (and their like) reading this, you are not the best at anything. Perhaps like me, even if you had spent your entire life practicing one thing you still would not have been the best.
Nor do you have to be.
World-class talent is exceptionally rare, but we humans have the unfortunate habit of holding ourselves up for comparison to these unique few. How could we possibly come up anything other than short?
A single skill or talent (see Choice: Love What You Do, Or Love Doing What You’re Good At?), properly developed, can take you far …IF you’re very good. But it’s the combination of your skills and talents that will enable you to excel at a far greater array of your life choices.
No-one, I mean NO-ONE can be you better than you can.
The challenge is; Who ARE you? What are your skills, your talents, your likes, dislikes, even aspirations? A disturbingly large portion of us spend our whole lives without answers to these questions, and we die never having achieved a fraction of our potential. Not someone else’s opinion of our potential, but our own sense of happiness and self-worth. Our feeling of achievement for a life that made a positive difference. At least to someone.
We have all come across people we simply can’t believe haven’t been fired yet, and we have all met people we are amazed are not doing significantly better. In my mind they have both committed the same ‘crime’; they have failed to understand themselves. These examples came from different angles, but the results are the same; neither is doing what they should or could be doing with their lives.
While I absolutely believe you must leave this life with regrets (A Life Without Regrets is a Life Without Mistakes) doing a poor job or never doing a great job should not be among them. Others can help – and usually love to do so – but only you can choose the right path.
There is a good chance I can beat Djokovic at darts (and perhaps several other non-athletic endeavours), and I likely know a lot more about payments security than Hawking. We all make our OWN choices in life, I am where I am because of mine, so why should I ever compare myself to them? Or to anyone else for that matter.
No, I have no-where near their money or their fame, but if I was to measure my life by those standards I have a lot more issues to address first. I am very good at what I do, but equally important, I know when I’m out of my depth. Like most people, I will never know EVERYTHING I’m good at, but I am self-aware enough to know when I should keep something going, or let it go entirely.
I have no problem being fired for being too opinionated, I would very much object to being fired for incompetence, but they are both very much my responsibility.
With self-awareness comes true personal accountability, only then can the regrets you have be the kind you want.
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