To be successful at something - Deepstash

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The Subtle Art Of Reaching Your Potential

To be successful at something

... you need to be:
  • In the top 1 % of a field. This is only possible for a selected few.
  • In the top 25 % of two or three extrinsic skills. This is easier to accomplish. Combining two or more things you are pretty good at will make you unique.

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Developing our strengths

Although we usually see our weaknesses as more changeable than our strengths, research shows that we should not focus on improving our weak parts, but to develop our strengths.

Identifying strengths

Try to see your strengths in relation to what energizes you. Something is a strength if: 

  • it makes you feel successful
  • you're drawn to it
  • it fully engages you
  • after doing that activity, you feel energized and fulfilled.
Ask the people around you

It's difficult for us to see our own strengths, but people around us (friends, coworkers, family members, mentors) will most likely see them clearly.

The goal is to identify things that you wouldn't have thought of on your own—or to find patterns.

"I’m a good problem solver"

Focusing on problem-solving implies that a candidate possesses secondary skills including critical thinking, strategic thinking, and leadership.

Demonstrate your problem-solving abilities...

"I’m a good communicator"

Communication encompasses not only speaking skills, but also your ability to lead, critique, and ask for help. Being adept in various communication methods also shows emotional intelligence.

"I have strong time management skills"

Time management is more than just completing tasks on time. An employer cares about how you spend the time leading up to a deadline as well.

Demonstrate your strength in this area by sharing how you prioritize your daily tasks.
Using the 80/20 rule for project prioritization can show how you best schedule your time to give your full attention to critical project tasks.

How to recognize your strengths

If you want to excel at anything, it’s not enough to fix your weaknesses. You also need to leverage your strengths.

If you want to recognize your strengths, you need other people to hold up a...

Choose your sources

Identify 10-20 people who know you well from a mix of personal and professional contacts, and ask them to write a story about a time when you were at your best. It is best if the sources are specific with concrete examples.

Spot patterns

Once the feedback arrives, look for the common themes that appear in multiple stories. Make a list of the themes, the key examples that support each theme, and what they suggest about your strengths.