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Throughout your life, you reach (and pass by) key milestones. In this great country of the United States of America, at 16 years of age you can apply for your driver’s license and experience your first sense of freedom. At 18, you are now legally an adult. You can buy lottery tickets, can buy tobacco, and can begin making larger life decisions on your own. At 21, you are able to purchase and consume alcohol. With each stage gaining increased responsibility and experience. Experience. What an invaluable tool. You can’t buy it, you can’t download it, you can’t borrow it from a friend. You have to live it. Invest a portion of your life to gain it. We all have it – to different degrees, in different ways, and on different topics.
This past year, I’ve reached the next milestone in my life – 30. There are songs written about it, parties had for it, and general advice given from others once you reach it. All of which come from experience. Passing this milestone has made me reflect on my experiences, and the lessons I’ve learned from them.
What has puzzled me throughout my first 30 years is talent. What is talent? Was Michael Jordan born a basketball star? Was Jeremy McGrath born a Supercross champion? Was Joe Montana born one of the best quarterbacks to play the game? What makes one person more talented than another at a certain aspect of life? Everyone is born with their own custom set of strengths and weaknesses. Some have a hard time identifying which are which. What is even more difficult is identifying where to apply your top strengths to optimize your success. Herein lies the secret recipe for talent – understanding your strengths and weaknesses through experience, then identifying where best to apply your strengths and devoting all of your energy towards this cause. Sometimes this is a no-brainer and sometimes it’s a difficult puzzle. Either way it’s up to you to figure it out. It’s not a given…that or everyone would be successful.