Unique Skills and Finding YOUR Path

Take aim and shoot for success

“Let him that would move the world, first move himself.” -Socrates

I wish someone would have asked me what my unique skill was when I was leaving high school and entering college. Answering this question could have saved me a lot of time and energy thinking about what I wanted to do with my life. Finding your unique skill early on can help carve your path in life (minus the tormenting lulls many people -myself included- experience). Even if you’re a little older (ahemm), discovering your unique skill can put you back on track if you’ve been looking for direction.

Using Your Unique Skills will Speak to Your Happiness

You know you’ve tapped into your unique skill when you feel a euphoria, extreme happiness, a joy for life when you’re doing it. I’ve always experienced a sense of relief when I put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). Writing has been a purging system for me throughout the years. Whenever I found myself in a tough spot, I turned to writing as a a means of figuring things out. It was always easier to write the words down than to speak them out loud. In the end, writing has been my saving grace.

What’s Your Unique Skill?

Have a seat, think about it. Are you tapping into the passion, skill or natural talent that speaks directly to you? Are you waking up with purpose every morning, happy to be alive or are you dreading the thought of getting up in the morning? If you’re feeling the later, there are several things to consider.

What the Hell is Going On?

Ask yourself this question and answer yourself honestly. It’s easy to get caught up with the realities of survival, heck, everyone has to pay the rent and put food on the table. Granted, there are very real reasons why you’ve put your dreams on hold, but is it really worth it? Is all of this empty motion worth feeling a constant nagging of being something less than what you’re meant to be? Probably not.

What to Do – For Those Who’ve Lost the Way over the Years

Life is a process. For those of us fortunate enough to be physically and emotionally capable of going after our dreams, we should not hold back. Have an honest conversation with yourself. Whatever your reality is, you probably have some kind of responsibility to take care of – you still have to pay your rent/mortgage, but you can take baby steps toward your dream – toward fulfilling your unique skill. When having such a conversation, think about what you would do without the influence or pressures of your environment. Think in raw emotion and tap into the person you may have lost touch with many years ago.

Stay true to yourself. Your circumstances, culture and environment may impact how you live your life. Stay true to yourself and watch as your passion guides your decisions and will help you overcome external factors. Ignoring your true self inevitably translates into regret.

Start small. Do something small everyday that will take you closer to your dream until you’re confident enough in taking bigger steps, or leaps, toward your goal. Your life will probably not change over night. Hold yourself accountable for the discipline, consistency and patience you implement on your journey, and you will eventually get there (wherever ‘there’ is for you).

What to do – For those who are just starting their Journey (Congrats 2011 Grads!)

Spring is a happy time. The weather is warming up, the layers of clothing are coming off and it’s graduation season. If you’re about to go into the world, do yourself a favor – think about your unique skill. Doing this early on can help prevent confusion and a strong sense of loss when you’re going through your studies. If you’re able to pinpoint exactly you want to do with yourself -your life- you can spend your time in college sharpening the skills you need to succeed instead of constantly worrying about what it is you’ll be doing in ‘the real world’. Don’t wait for the real world to come your way, instead, create your reality.

The Bottom Line

Whatever you decide to do, let your unique skill guide you and while you’re at it, invest your entire being. When you invest yourself sincerely and bring your most authentic self to the table, no matter what your goal is, you will be successful.

Photo via Anna Chelnokova

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2 Comments

  1. Assalaam alaikum, Jazakallahu Khayran for the great article! Just one question; I dont wake up in the morning with one specific dream. Everyday i have another dream; building mosques, learning tons of languages, founding my own Halal Market, Islamic designing etc. And I feel as many things directly speak to me, i am into all of these fast listed above! And I believe i have skills for all of them, not that i am a great designer or i learn a language in weeks tho!
    What do I do to know which one is ‘the one’?

    -Saliha

    1. Wa Alaikum Alsalaam Saliha,

      I often find myself wondering the same thing as well, I have many skills that I could apply to a number of different hobbies or goals of mine, but which is the most immediate? Our long term goals should be seperated from our short term goals. For instance, if you’re interested in Islamic design you have to build your skills, learn about the industry, what is missing, where could you be the most relevant in the field etc. It’s very easy to get side tracked when your mind is racing in so many different directions. I think we all really know what we’re meant to do here in this life, it may be a little hard with all the static that’s surrounding our instincts, but you are the only one who really knows what your true passion is; what gets you excited? What makes you happy and fulfills your need to produce and have an impact on your community? Figure out what’s important to you and how you can start working toward your goals, one at a time. Good luck!

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