Growing up, I was gifted when it came to math and science. I took calculus and chemistry for college credit as a senior in high school. I would go on to earn a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering and eventually a PhD. At the same time, I have always enjoyed creative writing and art. Drawing and painting has been a hobby of mine for as far back as I can remember.
When I was in high school, my calculus teacher told my parents how much she enjoyed having me as a student… how talented I was in so many different areas of my life. My mom asked her what someone does when they excel at so many different things. My teacher replied, “Anything he wants to do!”
Before I go any further and you stop reading because you think this is an article where I’m tooting my own horn here about how amazing I am, let me tell you, it’s not what it seems and it’s exactly the opposite.
No matter what I have been interested in throughout my life I have been able to learn and do at a descent level. If I had been a wonderkund at something, you wouldn’t be reading this but instead you’d be watching me on TV shooting hoops or singing the national anthem, etc. But when you are pretty good at everything you attempt, and you can do “anything you want to do!” What do you actually settle upon and do?
See, if people like this were only good at one thing, then that’s what you’d do! Even if you were interested in something else and attempted it, you’d ultimately realize you sucked at it and go back to what you were good at. No big deal. Eventually, you’d just accept the fact, probably early on in life that this is talent you have been gifted with and love it and rock it!
I know I’m not alone here and that the majority of us have many talents and things we are good at. So, how do you figure out what you should really be doing? People will ask you what you’d do if you weren’t getting paid to do it. What would you do if money didn’t matter? At the end of the day, this is a roundabout way of them trying to help you figure out your passion. When you can identify your passions and then determine a way to monetize that passion, you’ll never work another day for the rest of your life.
For me, I was very interested in real estate and investing in real estate at an early age. It took me a long time before I got out of my own way and pursued it, and there was never a doubt that this is what I was supposed to be doing. It is my passion. You can read all about my struggles of trying to figure out this passion and attempting to find momentum in my life in my book Man on Fire: Lessons From a Perpetual Burnout on Creating Alignment for Success.
Remember, identify your passion and work it into a profession, this is the way out of the “pretty-good-at-everything trap.”
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