We Are Born to be Masters of Our Life's Purpose

We often think of men and women who achieved extraordinary success in their professions as somewhat superhuman. Think about Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Henry Ford or Thomas Edison.

In the Philippines, we look up to people such as Manny Pacquiao, Lea Salonga, Henry Sy or John Gokongwei. Most of us can't imagine ourselves attaining what they've been able to achieve. We think that they are just too talented compared to us ordinary human beings.

"They Were Born With It"

This is indeed one way to look at the disparity of our achievements compared to them who we can think of as masters of what they do. But there is another view that we can consider. And it's a view that should make us think about our own abilities and capabilities.

And that view is this - those people who have achieved great successes are no more talented than each of us. What separates them from most is their dedication to master what they are good at doing.

That is another way of saying that when we were born, we were equal in terms of potential to achieve something. But as we grow older and develop, that's when the difference takes place. It may be that those people had better opportunities than others which they were wise enough to grab and take advantage of.

But opportunities is one thing, being ready to grab them is quite another and much more important element that we should all focus on. These amazing people were all ready for the opportunities they weren't sure would come. They lived everyday passionate about building their skills and honing their craft.

Passion and Determination

If you and I can work on the things we know we enjoy doing and are good at, we will be able to master it over time. That is the key, I believe in being successful. But that is something most of us will not do. Maybe not because most of us are just too lazy to work on our passion but because many are just not in a position of doing something they are passionate about.

Our work could be something we really hate doing or we just don't know what our real competitive advantage is. We don't know what we want to do. We don't know ourselves. We don't know our passion or what we are good at.

So I would say that the first and very important step we should all take is to discover ourselves. Being able to understand our true inner self will help us realize many of these things. And once we find that out, we will have the motivation that we need to work long hours to improve.

Know Thyself

Knowing ourselves, however, is not as easy as it sounds. Many people struggle with this for a long time. They don't know how to determine what things to pursue because they don't know what makes them tick.

I can think of several ways in which we can know ourselves better. But there may be others that you can think of. For starters, here's what we can do:
  1. Get feedback - sometimes other people can see in us what we can't see ourselves. They may be our loved ones, our friends, our families, our colleagues. They are most definitely the people we spend much of our time with. Their feedback are valuable because they will come from observation.
  2. Review your grades & achievements - oftentimes we take for granted the things we are good at. We think everybody can do it. We can fail to see something we may have an advantage in. So looking at our grades and previous achievements is also a good way to understand our abilities.
  3. Analyze your hobbies - the things that we enjoy doing by way of our hobbies are mostly those that we can spend time endlessly. And if we spend considerable time on something, we would surely end up good at it.
  4. Check what interests you - when you read newspapers, watch television, surf the internet, you may want to analyze the things that can catch your interest. That's usually where your passion lies. It could be a subset of something that you have not really looked into. But you would know it's there and it would be easier to find out what it is.
  5. Try new things - if all else fail, you shouldn't shy away from trying new stuff. Sometimes the things that we think we won't like can end up as something we would really enjoy doing especially if we find out we can be good at it. So do not confine yourself with what you already know, try new things to expand your learning.

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