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Stairway to Success: The Complete Blueprint for Personal and Professional Achievement by Nido R. Qubein

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1

WHAT ARE YOU GOOD AT?

The crowning fortune of a person is to be born to some pursuit which finds them employment and happiness. Whether it be to make baskets, or broadswords, or canals, or statues or songs.

—RALPH WALDO EMERSON

Success will come easier when you’re doing the things you do well. That’s obvious.

But many people go through life without giving serious thought to what they really do well. I’ve known talented writers who lived out their lives as clerical workers, never considering that they might find rewarding careers as novelists or in journalism, public relations, or advertising. I’ve known people who were animated and articulate and spent their lives as cab drivers when their talents might have carried them into television news or some other exciting communications career. I’ve known people with minds like calculators who spent their lives on assembly lines instead of in finance departments. I’ve known people who could paint lifelike portraits, but who spent their days behind sales counters instead of in front of easels.

There’s nothing wrong with being a clerical worker, or an assembly-line worker or a cab driver or a sales clerk, if that’s what you like to do and it’s what you do well. But too many people drift into these jobs because they were the first things available, then get stuck in them because they never awoke to the marketplace value of their real talents.

I’ve had people come to me and say, “I wish I were talented.”

I tell them, “You are talented.” ...

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