Arguably strengths and skills are what can define a person when it comes to your work, your social life, your relationships and quite honestly most of your life. Without having our own skills we are essentially a blank canvas. Sure we can eat, reproduce, poop, phase out to the TV but that makes us no different to one another. Without skills in the eyes of the world we are useless, draining and quite frankly a waste of oxygen. Reading this might seem quite demeaning, you may be asking yourself what you have to offer the world. Maybe you can make people laugh? Perhaps you’re an absolute genius when talking about the Powerpuff Girls? Don’t worry if you haven’t figured it out yet, we all have something to give.
I often find myself thinking about tragic stories of people who passed away far too soon and were unable to impact the world as we know it (not including loved ones as I’m sure everyone that’s ever and will ever exist, be loved and admired by at least one other). I consider what it is that I bring to the world other than cynicism, sarcasm, fantastic looks and a moderate intelligence (one of these is not like the others). Will I have a legacy? Will people other than those closest to me even know of my existence a decade after I’ve died? I mean, Robin Williams even had Koko the gorilla mourning when he died.
The answer is probably not – not everyone goes down the route of Martin Luther King, Florence Nightingale or Alan Turing to be remembered indefinitely. All I can do is use the skills I’ve acquired to try and make a difference both in my own life and others wherever possible. Then I remember that I’ve given up on a lot of potential skills in my short life – acting, directing, playing the guitar, becoming a magician (my deepest regret). This is due to two things; one being a completely lethargic sloth-like mess at critical points in my life and mostly to a sense of entitlement that a lot of us suffer from – I’ve expected these things to happen overnight and for great things to fall into my lap.
So now I’m building different skills up that I’ve always wanted to accomplish.
One example is trying to learn to speak Spanish. I have been for several months now on and off and I’m at the point where I’m able to understand basic conversations but if thrown into a situation where I need to converse myself, I’d probably draw a blank and rudely raise my voice, attempting to act out what I was trying to convey in overt gestures like some sort of rogue mime artist who’s given up the mute act. I can have very brief chats (often by myself, rambling like a madman convincing myself that I’m fluent) which involve basics such as ‘I love drinking beer’ and ‘That boy is an elephant’ and such.
I’m also learning to cook, have been for a few years now and I’ve got to admit I’m not terrible. Sure I often opt to eat my beloved pizza so a lot of my friends wouldn’t consider cooking a strength of mine yet in the confines of my own home I love to cook all sorts of weirdness!
My third skill that I’m pushing for is to be able to write in a coherent, educated and entertaining manner (I’ll get there folks) – this is the big one. The skill that once acquired could eventually attract an audience and possibly make money out of, because isn’t the dream in life to be able to work for what you love doing? Y’know, along with a nice house, a family, lots of money, a monkey sanctuary in your garden, a fast pass to all amusement parks in the world, a plane, world domi-you get the gist.
My dreams aside, the point I’m trying to articulate (albeit badly) is that even if you find yourself scratching your groin wondering what you can offer to the world the answer is quite simply who knows? Sitting there, as comfortable as it is with your hand down your pants staring at a wall isn’t going to impact anyone’s life for the better. Find out what skill could be beneficial to an aspect of your life, what you see potential and most importantly what you enjoy doing. Finding your strengths and using your skills are possibly the most important part of your life, work on it!