The real secret to being successful in your life is to find out what your strengths and talents are. Everybody has things they are naturally good at, that come to them with little effort and that they are happy to do. Once you know what your strengths are, the whole world opens up to you. In this letter I want to show you how knowing your strengths can help you overcome problems and make you happier in the long run.
If you have trouble making friends, having something you enjoy doing will overcome that. You can always turn one of your strengths into a hobby, and find other boys who are interested in the same thing. Having a hobby in common will make it easier to make friends.
Let’s imagine that you turn out to be good with machines, for example. It’s not a stretch, as both your mother and I are pretty tech-savvy people. Your could build and fly hobby drones, make your own video games, become a maker, or build your own HAM radio. You could join or start a club for other inventive kids and draw a few other boys (and girls) to you. Of course this doesn’t stop when you grow up. Hobbies will always be the most effective ways to make friends.
Of course, it is not enough to know what your natural gifts are. You need to push yourself to grow them. If you do have a knack for machines, then trying to fix or build different machines will make you better and better. Talent is a seed that needs water and sunlight – in this case, learning and practice.
If, when you grow up, you take a job, choosing one that allows you to use some of your strengths will mean that you will do a better job, and have a better chance to earn promotions. Your job will challenge you to take your natural talents and hone them into powerful skills. You will grow as a person.
Let’s keep the example of being technically inclined here. I am willing to bet that if you are good at machines as a child, and you nurtured and grew that talent, by the time you are an adult you could have developed that talent into the skills necessary to be an engineer, an industrial or aircraft mechanic, an electrician, or a robotics expert – all of them would be jobs that will provide you a good, steady income, and all of which will make you even better with machines over time. Because you love doing it, you will be positive at work and do a good job, which means that your bosses will respect you, and that can lead to trust with the bigger, more important jobs.
If instead, you choose to start your own business, it will be by taking your strengths and talents and turning them into something other people want to buy. The more confident you are in using your strengths, the more successful your business will be.
If you are good with machines, for example, you might start a small business repairing other people’s broken gadgets and earn a decent living. Or you might create a company that makes special machines that you invented, which would be hard work, but it will let you sell your machines to thousands of people, and if you are lucky become wealthy and influential- changing the way everyone thinks about machines.
A person who works according their strengths is happier, too! If you are doing something that you enjoy as a part of your work and your hobbies, you will rarely feel bad about getting out of bed and going to work. Even at the worst times in your personal life, you will have the ability to feel good about the job you are doing, and take some pride in your work.
One of my many roles as your father will be “talent scout”. I will have the job of making sure you try lots of things and taking note of the things that you love the most and do the best at. I will help you discover your strengths. And once I find out what you are good at, I will do my absolute best to help you find hobbies that build on your strengths.
- If you are good with machines, I will make sure you watch whenever we fix or build things, and that you have plenty of kits.
- If you are good at photography, I will get you a camera, and take you to places where you can take wonderful photos – and make sure you spend time around your Oma.
- I you are good at playing an instrument, I will get you some lessons, and take you to concerts,
- If you have the gift of gab, I will talk with you, show you how to debate, and take you along wit me to Toastmasters.
- If you are a natural actor, I will see that you get onto the stage in school plays.
- if you are a good story-teller, I will play Dungeons and Dragons with you for days on end.
- If you are funny, I will make sure you hear lots of comedy and help you create routines for talent shows.
- If you are great at being organized, I will tap you to help me organize things, and show you how to help your fellow students stay on top of things.
- If you are athletic I will do my part to get you on a team and cheer you on.
Whatever your gifts, I promise I will do anything I can to nurture them, including learning alongside you when I can. And I promise that I will be proud.
I can’t wait to meet you and find out what they are.