Identifying passions and skills


What are your passions?  What are you good at?  Have you ever wondered how to find out?  Do you find yourself stumbling through life, falling into opportunities because they just happen to be there?  Do you sometimes find yourself completely unsure of what to do with your life?  Maybe because you like doing so many different things and you can’t pick just one, or because you’re not sure what you like and so you just pick the first thing that comes along?

Lately I’ve been asking myself these questions and I notice that many of the people around me are doing the same.

On Tuesday night I went out for drinks with a friend of mine.  She told me how she’d studied piano from an early age.  She’d progressed through all of the various levels of piano schooling, right up to the Conservatory level.  She still plays occasionally and says that she hasn’t lost her touch … Anyhow, we got to talking about composing music, and the conversation turned to Mozart.  She mentioned that Mozart was so brilliant that he began composing music when he was 5 years old.  Mozart was considered one of the greatest composers of all time.  He was able to create music inside his head and then bring it to life.  I found this fascinating since I love listening to music but have never been able to manipulate it.  What I mean to say is that I can never remember the lyrics to songs and if you ask me to hum a few bars of my favourite tune, I wouldn’t be able to do it to save my life.  So it occurred to me that I even though I have no musical talent at all, I can still appreciate a wide variety of musical genres.

I began to wonder … what types of skills, talents, and topics is a person able to manipulate easily?  And by manipulate I mean play with.  I mean things that you can talk about without hesitation.  Things that you can go off on tangents about when you’re talking with friends or family.  Topics that inspire you to think and ponder and dream. Whether they come naturally or by discovery, I think it’s really important to know what really gets your groove on.  It seems to me that these would be the natural areas of foci for a career or study.  What do YOU like to wrap your mind around?  What makes you tick, dude?

If you can answer this question, try to ask yourself how can you hone this skill.  How can you cultivate <ahh… what a sexy word> it?  How can you refine this skill?  How can you make yourself a more adept manipulator of this topic? These are the opportunities I should be focusing on.  Opportunities that give me the chance to really develop a niche, an expertise in a particular field so that I can succeed in the future.  Remember, success lies where your heart is, not where the money is.  At the same time – don’t be afraid to aim for the sky.  It’s not so high.

Thanks to Sylvia Krezel for sending me off on this crazy mind warp.