When I say that I help people identify, understand, and channel their natural talents, one of the responses I receive is “and why would someone want to do that?”
In his best-selling book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey offers a lesson of basic navigation. He points out the absurdity of maneuvering the city of Chicago with a map of Detroit. Despite any positive attitude, raw intelligence, and good effort you may have, those qualities do not change the fact that you are just plain lost. If you have no knowledge of the city — or worse yet — you are using an incorrect guide, then you can’t move strategically. You are at the mercy of guesswork and trial and error. The result: total confusion and ineffectiveness.
This lesson is equally true when it comes to your life. If you have no internal mapping, no understanding of who you are and what you do well, then you’ve chosen a directionless fate. You enter each new opportunity, challenge and phase of life with a 50/50 chance (if you’re lucky) of getting it right. Instead of intentionality, your life is about risk management. You just hope that each “shot in the dark” hits the mark.
To me, the very simple — yet powerful — act of identifying your strengths reaps enormous dividends of clarity and direction throughout your life journey.