The above quote came across my Facebook page and I must admit that it got me to thinking . . . what makes me, or for that matter you, amazing?
It seems like a ridiculously easy question for which there is going to be an equally easy answer. At least the answer should be easy.
Then I found myself wondering would others have their own opinion as to what makes me amazing and, would it be the same as my answer? This is a lot to think about which is why I decided to write this post based on what I will call the “no one is ordinary” quote.
Suffice to say, we are all one of a kind creations who while sharing similar characteristics are, in our own way, truly unique.
In this context, I have often times talked (and written) about discovering and capitalizing on your unique ability*.
For the purposes of clarification, It is important to differentiate between a unique ability and an excellent ability. Simply put, a unique ability is a gift or talent with which you were born. An excellent ability is a skill set that you acquire through education and experience. In other words, it is learned as opposed to being inherent.
In this context, what gift or talent do you have that is inherent to you, and you alone?
Then the next question you have to ask yourself is this . . . am I using my talent to its fullest potential?
In a TED.com discussion stream regarding talent, the following comment speaks volumes:
I do not think talent is a necessity in life. Many people spend their entire life doing a job that requires no talent. I do believe that a person who chooses to use their talents will by far be a happier person though. I do not have what I consider a ‘real’ talent. I don’t sing. I can’t dance. I am horrible at math. I am, however, creative and I have an extremely friendly personality. I connect well with children therefore I am working on my teaching degree. Is this a talent? To a degree, yes I believe so. Not everyone can or should do it. Not everyone should sing…I definitely should not. I could have chosen to be a mechanic. My husband is and he is excellent at it. I am smart enough to learn to do it. I don’t want to however. My ‘talent’ lies in other areas therefore, my decisions and choices in life revolve around my talents. Would I be happy as a mechanic? No. I feel a person should use their talents. Their education should revolve around those talents. Learn everything you can…you’ll never know too much, but using your talents will lead to a more fulfilling life.
How many of us after overcoming the first hurdle pertaining to identifying our talent, actually use it in our work? How many of us have focused our education or ongoing development solely on enhancing our excellent ability skill sets while ignoring our true calling ability?
I know someone who successfully built up a software company and sold it for $12 million only to lose it all in the dot.com implosions. What was interesting is that in losing it all, he gained something of far greater value. He discovered his true calling. Today he is one of the top people in his field, being recognized for his unique ability as a speaker and writer. In other words what he believes makes him amazing now aligns with what others believe. He has never been happier!
So this is my question to you . . . what is your unique ability or abilities that make you amazing and, are you using them in your present position?
* In providing the concept for the book Unique Ability: Creating the Life You Want by Catherine Nomura and Julie Waller (2009), Dan Sullivan refers to your unique ability as “the true source of your personal power which stems from those abilities you have that are unique to you.”