Dec 13, 2011 / by Alisa Hafen / 2 Comments

Many people waste a lot of energy wishing they could do things that they can’t. When we see exceptional athletes, such as Michael Jordan or Larry Bird, some of us want to be just like them; or we hear a stirring speech from John F. Kennedy or Martin Luther King, who could inspire so many with such phrases as: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country “or “I have a dream…”

I believe that everyone is good at something and that the key is to first find out what it is and then do what it takes to develop that talent. In other words – play to your strengths.

Have you noticed that when your children are young and growing, they seem to be constantly changing their minds when asked what they want to be when they grow up? They are expressing not only what their interests are, but also who they want to follow. Perhaps there is that outstanding teacher or heroic fireman that has made a dramatic impression on them.

A few days ago, I surprised my family by coming home unexpectedly. This is a busy time of year for everyone and I hate missing anything my kids are involved in. Sometimes, however, it can’t be helped. Most of you know I have 4 children, and they are extremely involved with activities from basketball to piano to drama.

My son, Jordan, was playing Scrooge in the school play and I wanted to try and get home for that. He is 12 and usually plays the “villain.” I have two other sons, Christian, who is passionate about basketball and ranching, and Kyler, who is interested in any sport involving a ball! Because of their love for what they do, they seem to excel. Gracee seems to be great at keeping stray animals!

It was obvious the other night that Jordan’s passion lies in acting. I watched in amazement as he had memorized all his lines. You could tell by his enthusiasm, his mannerisms and expressions, that this is where he really felt alive. We can see this is where his strengths are and where he is truly focused.

Recognize what you are best at – strongest at – and put all your energies towards that.

The sooner we know what our talents truly are – what we really want to be and do in this life, the better. Focus on what you love – what comes easier rather than harder. Concentrate on what people tell you that you’re good at; that which fulfills you.

You will never be more than mediocre at something you dislike, or feel frustrated doing. It is far wiser to explore your aptitudes, passions and talents. Develop your energies there. Become really good – really great – at something you enjoy.

“Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.”
Lao Tzu