Most of us go through life believing the traditional school system philosophy:
Complete all the homework.
Take all the tests.
Check off all the boxes.
Do these things, we were told, and success is inevitable.
Just spitballing here — if you create an organization which tests everyone on the exact core competencies as the other students enrolled with them, seems you might just get a whole bunch of jaded, disenchanted people who thought they’d get a job, but found out their secondary education didn’t give them an edge at all.
Hindsight is 20/20 of course. But how do we move forward when we as a people are growing faster than the system is?
If you are in college and reading this right now, you’ve got to take care of business. Knock out those gen eds and do what it takes to get a degree. Play the game. Every other second of the day, though:
Go all in on your strengths.
The world rewards those who are masters of their craft. Look at Sam Smith, Kobe Bryant, or Steve Jobs. These people are standouts because they knew who they were. They took a little natural talent and gave that ability priority over all else.
If you feel like you don’t have that one thing, or if you don’t even know what your strengths are, I’d encourage you to look a little deeper.
See I want to write novels. They may not be my “thing” but it’s something I enjoy. If I look deeper into that want, I realize I actually just want to write anything.
Go deeper still, and I find that the only reason I like writing is because communication with other people is something that draws me in. Changing someone’s mind, telling them a story, or showing them a new point of view are all things I enjoy.
Now that we’ve switched my career path from “writing novels” to “communicating with people,” do you think I might have a few more chances to do something I enjoy?
You have more possibilities, more career options, and are more people who need you than you can ever imagine.
But your strengths usually point to something deeper than a career, more elusive than a job, and more meaningful than work:
They point to a calling.
You are the solution to someone else’s problem.
That is, if you step out, do the work, and be who you are meant to be.