Part of having the success that you want means understanding who you are and how you function. Sounds simple, right? In reality, however, determining where your core strengths and talents reside can make all the difference between success and failure.
So where should you begin? First, it is essential that you catalog your main talents. Do these talents potentially overlap in any way? If so, you may have spotted an area where you can truly excel. Armed with this kind of knowledge, it is possible for you to leverage that information to make changes in your own life.
Discovering Your Unique Expertise
Maybe you are an expert in a given area. For example, let’s say you have expertise in computer networking, and discover that you are also an excellent public speaker. By pairing these two skills together, you could open up new opportunities for yourself. Your different options could include starting a consulting business or working as a computer-networking teacher, just to cite two examples.
Keep in mind that your talents don’t have to be of an artistic nature. They can include such diverse talents as being an exceptional organizer, a good leader or a multitude of different characteristics or personality traits. Even something like being good under pressure would count as a unique talent.
The real trick here is to have an accurate and honest assessment of what you do well. If you sit down to write your “strengths list” and you discover that you are pretty fantastic at everything, then the odds are excellent that you’re wrong (and a little delusional!) That’s okay, but you have to correct your perceptions and work on determining what it is that you truly do excel at doing and why.
Leveraging What Makes You Happy
Knowing what you are good at is only one part of the equation. Finding success and happiness necessitates that you also understand your purpose in life. How do you determine this? Start by working to answer the question, “What makes me happy?” If you can find a way to use your strengths, make money doing it and help people at the same time, then you truly are on the right path!
Making certain that your life is headed in the optimal direction can be made with an honest assessment of your strengths and abilities and they can interact with one another in a positive fashion. With this knowledge, you can foster change in every aspect of your life and often do so with surprising speed.
Dr. Madeline Ann Lewis is the President/CEO of the Executive Women’s Success Institute (www.excutivewomenssuccessinstitute.com) in Maryland. She is a career strategist, speaker, and the author of Finding Your Best Inside: How to Become the Person You Are Meant to Be and Playing from the Blue Tee: Women in the Federal Government. You can reach her by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.