Do what you are great at. Become the best in the world at something.
That advice makes sense and I hate it.
What if you’re not great at anything?
I have friends who knew they wanted to become doctors when they were five years old. Other friends started coding when they where nine. One friend was always best in the soccer team and now plays professionally.
I don’t have an amazing talent.
I was not best at selling cookies for the football team. I did not win talent shows. I was comfortably average. Most people are. That’s the way it works. Ask any statistician. A few of us are great and some are awful. We are trapped inside the Bell Curve.
Breaking out of the Bell Curve
I know I’ll never be one of the best programmers in the world. But I learned how to build a website
by myself. I know I’ll never be a famous guitarist. But I know a few songs and solos. I won’t write the best book ever written, but I’m quite sure that I can write a
Does this mean that I’m doomed to forever trample water in the pool mediocrity? Or rather, in several different pools of mediocrity?
Maybe. But I don’t think so.
The reason I don’t think so is because smart people told me otherwise in a podcast
“If you are okay at one thing, and okay at another thing. You are probably one of the best in the world at the combination of those two things.” – James Altucher
Maybe it is possible and even smart to invent things to be great at. You can do so in two easy steps. First, make list of ten things you are good at. Then randomly mix 2-3 of the things to make new categories.
Step 1: Things I’m good at
- changing habits
- copy writing
- coming up with ideas
Step 2: Things I could be great at
writing + changing habits
I’m good at starting new habits and dropping old ones. Most people are not. It’s hard to change habits. And I like writing. I could probably become great at writing about habits I’m testing and changing. I don’t think a lot of other people want to or can do it.
Coding + Communication
I know a bit of web development. And I’ve got quite a bit of experience in sales, marketing and communication. I might be great at being a solo entrepreneur.
Listening + Marketing + Coming up with ideas
Maybe I can become top 5% in the world in interviewing people in a podcast about ideas. Who knows.
If you feel stuck and need inspiration, make a list of ten things you are good at. Then mix them in different combinations. Maybe you’ll find your new passion, project or business. Either way you’ll have a list of things you are good at. That’s not too bad. You could show it to someone you like. Maybe they’ll like you more.