It has taken me years to understand who I am.
People with solid life experience know life is not linear. It might appear that success and achievement move seamlessly as part of a whole, but this is far from the truth.
Life is full of unexpected twists and turns; mainly revolving around circumstances you did not anticipate. This is reality, and your ability to handle the unknown while making use of the knowledge you are gaining, is vital to your growth and survival.
For too long, I was innocent and naïve, without a clue as to how things really worked. Indulged by caregivers, I was spoiled and thought getting what I wanted was a norm to which everyone should adhere.
I was completely lost.
My lack of understanding would eventually lead to all kinds of pain and disappointment, until years later when I grew up (emotionally) and accepted full responsibility for myself.
One casualty of my lack of self-awareness was an understanding of my talents and how to effectively use them.
Unearthing these truths was particularly painful.
As a youth, I had talent in a number of areas, particularly music. I was in a band as a teenager and developed a local reputation as a solid electric bass player.
I diligently practiced, preparing myself for the inevitable, never doubting my “success.”
But I was oblivious as to how the real world works. With no viable plan, I quit music at the ripe old age of twenty.
I remember saying to myself, “Now it’s time to grow up and get a real job.” I did not realize I was reciting old, stale, programming given to me by family and society.
For years I floundered, though always writing and publishing, I bounced from job to job. Nothing truly held my interest. The luster of my musical prodigy days quickly vanished in the rearview mirror.
I thought my talents had betrayed me, and while I never would verbalize it, I believed I was a victim, dooming myself to year’s of self-pity and underachievement.
Learn from my mistakes when assessing your talents. Hold tight to what you know. Firsthand experience trumps theory any day. So get out in the world and start living. Your success awaits!
This post is excerpted from Gary’s upcoming book The Real Reason You’re Not Successful, And What To Do About It.