I’m not sure what woke me. Maybe it was the sound of the rain dropping on the window pane, making that sound it does. I much prefer the way it sounded when it fell on the corrugated galvanized roof of a house, but this will have to do. Or maybe it was the throbbing headache, that’s been with me for the last 12 hours or so. I have learned that my body reacts to certain conditions, not to sound special or anything, as all of our bodies react to certain conditions, but this guy behaves like clockwork sometimes. I had breakfast yesterday morning at around 6:30am, my normal time during normal times, but Covid19 has completely thrown my circadian rhythm out of whack. Now a normal breakfast is closer to eight, nine o clock in the morning. Had to run into work for the first time in more than a month, and as such did not eat a thing until I returned home later that day. For my body that is all it needs to trigger a headache, usually as soon as I actually get something to eat. Almost like it is punishing me for not following what I know is practically a fact. If I do not eat in a timely fashion, I will almost all the time get a headache. And so it is I believe for many things that we inherently know. And yes I am about to pivot in what this early morning musing is actually about. Side note. I have also learned that I am beginning to love the word pivot. It sounds smart. It holds with it so much indication of the possibility of change.
Nonetheless, before I pivot too much. Similar the awareness I have of my body, I have come to realize, like I am sure most of you do, that there are things in life for which we have all amassed a certain amount of knowledge in. Whether it’s through formal study, lifelong learning, or from just simply paying attention. For example, I would never claim to be a master of anything business related. Nor would I ever in my most egotistical moment, claim to be a master of this thing called life. But I have learned some things.
There are theses tenets afforded to each of us, talent and passion. Clearly doled out in different doses to different people. And while these are essential to your path and ultimately your success, I believe some other ingredients are the true determining factors. Now I’m not the type that says everyone gets a trophy. No apologies here. Some people are definitely more talented than others. Yes we all have a talent or various talents, but arguably, we can all honestly say, it appears that some of us are drowning in it. In a good way. I just realized the use of the word drowning, conjures up a slightly ominous image, that was not intended. And yes I should change the word but I like using it there. Some among us are truly gifted and are amazingly talented.
But that gift is just that, a gift. Left unopened it amongst to nothing right? So essentially we need something to motivates us to share what we have with the world. That can happen organically. It just does. We seemingly do it without a clear defining trigger. It comes natural essentially. Or we along the way find something that helps us realize what our talents might be. And then the passion comes. Passion is what blurs the time. Puts you in that state of flow where you just throw yourself into your task and go. And it feels amazing to be in that space. But nary is this enough as I’m sure most of us can attest. Passion can fade in the absence of positive results. Talents can be buried in the absence of results. And we are left wondering what is missing. How are some able to bring it all together and find success?
I read somewhere, well I know where I read it, that Charles Schwab, had this philosophy that he acknowledged, almost innately, that he did not know everything necessary to build his business. He understood that in order for him to be successful, he needed to surround himself with people that knew more than he did. People that brought knowledge and talents in areas he lacked. And to do so without fear or envy. The book by the way is How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie. An all time favorite book of mine. Very simple concepts that can actually take a lifetime to master and put into action. But I have seen evidence of this philosophy in action, in seemingly innate ways in many people.
I have a friend that I have watched become and is still becoming hugely successful in her field. And granted she is clearly talented. I dare say gifted at what she does. Both highly passionate and motivated. But I firmly believe her greatest strength, innate or learned, is her ability to apply that Charles Schwab philosophy. And the reason I say innately is because she does this almost as if it is just a part of who she is. She has built a circle of friends, professionals, confidants, advisors, who all generally bring something of value to the table. When a specific need arises, for a skill that she does not have, she simply seeks it out in others. It sounds like common sense, I’m sure, but I’m also certain many of us do not practice this often enough, in our lives, professionally or otherwise. The mantra, to get it done right I must do it myself, is a total falsehood. It’s self- sabotage. It really is fear speaking. Essentially you stopped searching for the right person to soon. You fell short in that instance of building the strongest, or most appropriate team for your goal. When you can comfortably acknowledge where your abilities end and require someone else’s, only then are you able to take whatever your endeavors are to the next proverbial level. That ability to recognize the need to do so, is in itself a talent. The discipline to do it repeatedly is a combination of humility and courage.
As is cheekily said these days, someone might need to hear this. I know I needed to hear this.
Credit: Photo by Annie Spratt @anniespratt / anniespratt.com