“Every man has specific skill, whether it is discovered or not, that more readily and naturally it would come to him than it would come to another, and his own should be sought and polished. He excels best in his niche…” —Criss Jami
If William Shakespeare had at any time of his life refused to develop his writing skills, perhaps he may have excelled in something else, possibly as a jester in the Elizabethan courtyard, but the world would have missed out on a very good success story. Just maybe we all would have continued living out our boring lives, if Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, an American computer programmer, and Internet entrepreneur, had not as a college whiz kid, developed his passion for programming.
Relating it back to Nigeria, think of those people you know of with extreme talent who had gone out of their way to hone their skillset and you would realize that it took just a little something extra to get at it. Godwin Emefiele, former Central Bank of Nigeria’s governor, currently on Forbes Magazine, Folurunsho Alakija, Mike Adenuga and a host of many others consciously did something right when others got things a tiny weeny bit not right.
Skills are the expertise or talent you have to do a particular job, something you are good at and love doing. A lot of people struggle with knowing their and how to improve them; you cannot develop what you do not recognize that you have. Many of us go to google and copy other people’s impressive lists of skills when writing our curriculum vitae. For those who were lucky not to rely on Google, they had mentors who pointed out the skillset that was relevant to the new line of work they planned on pursuing and wrote it down. But what is your skillset really?
Here are ways of recognizing your skills and succeeding at what you do:
- Stare at what you want to become: Stare at the image you imagine for yourself. Surround yourself with the right crowd, read the right books, and build your skills with them. If you are interested in graphic designing, having models that you aspire to be like would help.
- Spend time engraving the skill daily: It doesn’t matter how good you are at something, if you don’t practice, eventually, it would be difficult to remember all you thought you knew? If you ignore your skills, you may struggle to recover your step, rather than backsliding from your skillset, jump into it every day and practice.
- Buy a Notebook: This means keep a journal. Nothing works more like magic than keeping a personal journal about what you learned, mistakes you made, and what you hope to achieve later on. Say it to yourself till you mean it.
- Be willing to be stupid: Yes, no one is a know it all. Be willing to accept corrections and judgment; don’t be too big to acknowledge that you made a mistake. Mistakes should be reinterpreted as information that you can use to navigate yourself to a correct move and not be classified as verdicts.
- Go slowly and ignore your comforts: Have you ever seen a newborn baby becoming a professor immediately? No, right? So pace yourself, but while you are at it, try to ignore unnecessary luxury. Push yourself beyond your comfort zone.