The Downside to Knowing What You're Great At

I’m a huge proponent of the idea that you are the BEST in the world at ONE thing. It’s more niche than you realize. In fact, the practice of it probably doesn’t exist right now. You’ll miss it if you keep trying to fill conventional roles. But when you finally figure it out, it will […]

I’m a huge proponent of the idea that you are the BEST in the world at ONE thing. It’s more niche than you realize. In fact, the practice of it probably doesn’t exist right now. You’ll miss it if you keep trying to fill conventional roles.

But when you finally figure it out, it will change your life. You’ll never apply for another job again. When people think of your craft, your name will immediately come to mind. You will OWN a category. You will become the benchmark.

There’s a downside, however, to finding your great gift to the world.

It’s that you have to acknowledge that you’re not any good at the other stuff.

When I quit my PREVIOUS occupation, I had a two-year funeral for myself because I had spent the past 10 years training for it and striving at it.

I had to finally admit that it wasn’t working. And there was nothing flippant about that realization. It tore my soul out. I experienced an identity crisis.

The hard truth is this – you have to start with what you’re NOT good at in order to find out what you ARE great at. And for this, you only need to look around.

Is there fruit on the branches?

If you say you want to be a leader, are people following you?
If you say you want to be a writer, do people clamor to read your stuff?
If you say you want to be a speaker, do they flock to listen to you now?

I fear that – even in writing those questions – we will find another way to deceive ourselves with the answer. We’ll spin it to accommodate our current aspirations.

(If you’re starting to become defensive about a particular desire, pay attention to it. You might be onto something.)

As you seek your ONE great thing, be prepared to bear the weight of grief. It’s no easy thing to put aside what you’ve spent years pursuing.

But when you find it, it will be worth it. For there is nothing better than expressing what you were designed to do.

Ben Arment Ben Arment helps people launch great things. He’s the founder of Dream Year, The Whiteboard Sessions, and STORY in Chicago, and he also wrote a book called Church in the Making. He and his wife Ainsley live in Virginia Beach and have three cowboys, Wyatt, Dylan & Cody.

More from Ben Arment or visit Ben at http://www.benarment.com/

Please Note: We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, uncivil and off-topic. Read a detailed description of our Comments Policy.