A strength is more than an ability. It is an offering. It is the first way you find your place in a crowded human world. Your strengths might not be limited to whatever you currently think they are. They are not so obvious or neatly categorized as the world would have you believe. To know them thoroughly, you will have to dig deep into the catacombs of your body and mind.
You’ve no doubt often heard others lament that they may never be the very best at anything they do. Maybe you’ve even been guilty of this flawed thinking yourself. These people have been robbed of their individuality by society’s obsession with simple measuring. They’ve overlooked the subtext, the nuanced combination of qualities that make them who they are. You must focus on the invisible, the spaces between things that others miss.
You’ve been taught to take for granted the minor details that set you apart from everyone else, even learning to be ashamed of what makes you different. You have covered up who you are to maintain the illusion of normality. But you are not normal. You cannot judge yourself by the same standards that they use. Now is the time to eliminate this corrupt program and settle back into what you really are: exceptional in ways you cannot yet even imagine.
Each trait that is uncommon about you might seem inconsequential on its own. In the wrong circumstances, each is even detrimental to your goals, appearing more as a weakness than a strength. Nothing in the world is universally preferable. What aides you in one situation will kill you in another. Commanding full use of your strengths is about understanding how to match them to the environments that demand them. Only then can you be said to have become their master. Context is everything.
Arranged in a complementary way, your uncommon characteristics become noteworthy. This is the path for those who have ample patience to see their underlying faculties develop into measurable abilities. Very often, those who begin life with the least ability to perform go on to outpace their peers later in life, and continue their acceleration until they die. A practitioner of many diverse traits has endless options to blend them. Never believe that you must specialize to be useful.
The primordial skill you must acquire is to see the hidden principles from which your visible skills are derived. The same ingredients can be put together in many ways, presented under the guise of many distinct dishes. Because the world trained you to build your identity around specific actions that set you apart from you peers, you never considered your unseen pool of potential. Nothing is ever just one thing. So long as you are aware of your own physical and mental repertoire and you understand the constituents of any new task before, there is only a learning curve to overcome before you own it. In this way, understanding your natural strengths keeps you growing and growing.
You will recognize your strengths when the things that are taxing for others will seem mundane in your perspective. You may not even notice them. That’s the great trap that makes us miss what we can do well. When you can perform at a high level, with little conscious effort, when others around falter, you have found one of your natural faculties. You arrive at answers without thinking. You know the right thing to do with barely any assessment. You visualize the result you want and your body conforms to make it happen as you foresaw.
With enough training, anyone can improve their abilities in a given domain. Luck and practice can make incredible things achievable to everyone. But your natural strengths won’t rely on ideal conditions and repeated exposure. This is what you will offer the world. This is how you will serve other people: by remaining calm and controlled when others feel the ill effects of stress. Your primordial configuration means you don’t resist the challenges they do. Apply these unique gifts in their ideal environment.
Know yourself. Understand what you are capable of through the rigors of trial and error under as many conditions as you can. Learn to see other people as a control group for examining yourself. Now you’ve started to acquire meaningful definition. Now, you have a foundation to build upon. Your natural gifts are only the beginning.
However great your unconscious competence may be, you have the power to elevate your strengths further through conscious breakdown of the principles of their operation. This is called learning, and it is the most potent strength of all. It is what opens the door to skill development, and turns potential into actionable power.