Build Success on the Foundation of Your Strengths & Talents
"... there's wisdom in acceptance..."
"I started along that line mad as a swarm of angry bees. But it calmed me more than anything I ever experienced. I smashed into rock bottom. It was awful. But it was also the first time I can remember being awake and not feeling like I was falling, like I had to swing my arms and legs hopelessly trying to fight that constant downward sensation. I felt the earth under my feet. It was solid. I saw the sky above me. It was vapor and the setting sun was fire. I was small and powerless in a time and a place. It was real and I was real. I was a part of it. I was there. I was in it. It wasn't, as I had always believed without thinking about it, mine to own, to conquer or rise above. I was with it... there's wisdom in acceptance."
From Sacred Dust by David Hill
Are you living your life…or a shadow of it?
Recognize, Accept & Train to Your Talents for Success & Happiness in Life
Who do you think you are? Are you yourself or are you a paper doll representing someone else's dreams? Have you always known what you wanted and, more importantly, been supported in pursuing it, or have you followed the steps that were laid out for you? Have you arrived at a point of abandoning those steps without a clear path to follow?
When I read the quote above, it struck me as clearly describing the way it feels when you quit trying to fulfill other people's dreams and accept and embrace your own true strengths and hearts' desires. When you trudge through life trying to be what you are supposed to be and never knowing who you are, you can never belong.
You never know what you really want because you have been told all along that you want something else. Struggling to achieve that something else is like "trying to fight that constant downward sensation." Even when you achieve the markers of success for the goals you have been handed, there is no joy and no lightening of the burden.
It is so important to know, accept, and be trained to your talents. It is so important to recognize your talents and know from an early age who you really are and what you really want. Without this you are likely to pursue an inauthentic path into a life that never fits. When this is the case, you are very likely to feel inadequate at work, following a life path that is not really your own. When you are doing the things you really want to do - the things you really have a talent for - the way is easy and the burden is light. You can feel as if you belong and are a part of things.
We live in a country that was founded on the idea that anyone can rise to any height with hard work, ambition, and dedication. All are created equal. While that is true to an extent, it leaves us with the notion that anyone can succeed in anything he or she attempts. Sadly, this is not true. If your pursuit is poorly chosen and does not match with your natural talents, you are unlikely to ever meet real success.
Build An Authentic Life
When this is the case, you haplessly end up stumbling through life feeling like a failure because you are struggling with a set of choices that do not suit your strengths. To pursue a life course because it is a "steady job" or a "sensible choice" without ones innate talents being taken into consideration is to set a course for disappointment and frustration. While it may not seem like the most practical choice, it usually pays to "follow your bliss".
Unfortunately, in our society, we are often pushed to focus on our weaknesses and try to succeed at them while saving our talents for our spare time. This is sheer insanity. We all have things we do well and things we don't do well. People who are truly successful and happy are people who have recognized, accepted, embraced, and pursued their talents in life. It is simply not possible to excel at something you don't like and have no desire or talent for. In choosing a career and mapping a course in life, it just makes sense to focus on your natural talents.
Accentuate the Positive
When you dwell on your shortcomings rather than building on your strengths, you will begin to feel that your true talents have no value, and you will have very little reason to feel joy or gratitude. It is difficult to have a feeling of accomplishment in life if every success is meager and hard-won. This is why it is smart to accept your weaknesses and identify and embrace your strengths. Build on your strengths. Not to do so is to build a house without a foundation.
Of course, everyone falls short of dazzling success from time to time, but why decrease your chance of success by choosing to do something you are not good at? When you put your focus on your natural abilities and strengths, you gain strength to achieve more and find more success. When you do this, you become a more effective person. Your accomplishments can make a difference in the world.
What to do?
If you are just starting out in life, preparing to go to college or choose a career and a path in life, look carefully at your natural talents, interests and passions. Allow them to guide your choices.
If you are a parent, examine your motivations in guiding your child. Are you guiding your child to fulfill your dreams or his own? Be very careful to help your child discover his own talents and interests and to pursue them.
If you are mature and struggling under the burden of an unsatisfying career, take some time to examine what you are doing. If you come to realize that you are holding your dreams at arms' length, be brave enough to make the necessary changes to follow your bliss. Even if there is loss involved, you will be glad of the change in the long run.
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- "Follow your bliss!" Joseph Campbell