You’ve probably heard about the concept of your unique ability – it’s what you do best and love to do. I was first introduced to it at Dan Sullivan’s Strategic Coach. It’s that feeling of flow you get where you don’t notice the passage of time because you are so immersed in what you’re doing.
Don’t be lulled into thinking it’s a nice to have. The reasons to be clearer about yours can be the difference between having an okay life (really?) and loving it (most of the time)!
You will enjoy your days, weeks and life much more. (Do you really need another reason?!)
Because you enjoy spending time on it, it makes you feel good and that gives you even more positive momentum.
Because it’s something you’re good at, it builds your confidence – not least because you’re not spending your time on things you’re not as good at and enjoy less.
The odds are high you will enjoy breakthroughs in your life because of who you become along the way.
I would read those again and let them sit for a while – hopefully for obvious reasons.
How do you figure out your unique ability?
1. List out separately what you spend your time on now:
a) the things you are really good at and love to do
b) the things you are good at but don’t love doing (this is often quite a long list)
c) the things you are not good at and don’t enjoy.
2. Ask ten people who know you well what they think you do best.
These insights can help you attain more clarity.
3. Articulate your unique ability further by answering these questions from Gay Hendricks:
a) I’m at my best when I’m…
b) When I’m at my best, the exact thing I’m doing is…
c) When I’m doing that, the thing I love most about it is…
If at first you are not feeling as clear as you’d like, see this process as one that may well take time. You may need to revisit the topic a few times. It’s not one we’ve often been encouraged to do. Too often our areas for improvement get far more focus. One problem with that is it sets you up to waste your life working on weaknesses that will never be strengths or things you even enjoy. I can’t think of anything more tortuous than having to spend time trying to improve my woodworking, car maintenance, coding, or bookkeeping skills. And don’t forget that there really are people who enjoy the things you don’t and they are good them too.
In the past I don’t think I always took this topic seriously enough. As a result, I’ve done too much work I wasn’t passionate about. I’ve taken on big projects I wasn’t excited about – that were in my ‘good’ zone. Interestingly, I think this is where our level of worthiness kicks in: we don’t bother digging into this topic because we wonder deep down if we even deserve to do all the things we love.
I’ve not focused enough on the flow in my days and how to generate more of it which is where I get the best results and have the most fun. Funnily enough, the flow ‘flows over’ into other areas more when there is more of it and those areas go better too.
I urge you not to make the mistakes I have by figuring yours out now. Give it time and make your goal to incrementally increase how much time you spend on it. Then watch your life change!
Founder & President
Matt Anderson International
1177 Oak Ridge Drive, Glencoe, IL 60022, USA
Phone: +001 (312) 622-3121