What Inward Focus Can Teach You

Honestly, I felt like shit this morning.  I feel worthless. I am happily married, make a decent salary, I have a nice house, there’s a kid on the way. All good things. And yet I’m unhappy. I feel stuck. 

Be clear about what you’re good at.

But it all comes together.  Cal Newport is talking about skills. He is telling us that having rare and valuable skills (or a combination of the two – like being a creative business controller).

Alex Hormozi is talking about skills. He says: become good at something and monetize it. It doesn’t matter what skills you select as long as you put so much time into it that you become great at it. And if you’re great at it, it’s worth something to people.  I have always been really fond of being a generalist.

There’s a large amount of things I can do just slightly better than others. But specialists are way better at it.  As I am a generalist, I find it hard to pinpoint my skills because I’m not particularly great at anything. I’m just above average or rather just above mediocre (most people are mediocre in most skills).

Feel like you’re an imposter? Great.

So I’ve been feeling stuck for the past couple of years. Sure, I’ve learned stuff. Some people even call me an expert on some things but it doesn’t feel like that to me. And that’s a good thing. 

Seth Godin has a really short – but interesting post on his blog: Signs you’re not trying hard enough. I feel like an imposter. I feel like my skills are not valuable enough. And that’s a good thing. Thinking you’re an imposter is an indication of good work.

You see, the more you learn about something, the more you’ll think you don’t know shit. In other words, feeling like an imposter is a sign of growth.  But to me personally, the feeling sucks. I hate it. It’s uncomfortable. It’s what I should seek because growth is outside of comfort. 

What I should do though, is selective learning. Selective growth. Right now, I’m all over the place and I feel like it’s getting nowhere.

Apply ‘Focussed learning’ to be more productive

A test I took confirmed some of the thoughts I had about myself. I am an advocate for change. I like doing new stuff. It gives me a lot of energy. I am creative. I like listening to other people. I am curious about my own strong points and weaknesses. My scores on emotional intelligence are really high (9/10)

On the contrary, I suck at storytelling. I suck at collaboration. I don’t do networking. I don’t do feedback giving. I suck heavily at creating support.  Look at it. It makes a lot of sense.

People skills are my weak suit. I can listen to them but there’s no real interaction. There’s no leadership from my side. I am really bad at inspiring people to see what I see. And what I see, apparently, is great. There’s tons of cool stuff I see and want to do but I’d better start working at the hard part: making people want what I want for them.

There are a lot of things I want to do to help others but they don’t know that because I don’t talk about it. Creating this blog is one part of me trying to communicate better. Writing is a skill I used to suck at (and probably still am mediocre but hey, I’m learning) so I’m trying to get better.

And I’m doing it out in the open which scares me to death but it hasn’t killed me so far. (So it isn’t actually that scary). I’ve been posting a blog per day for 30 days in a row now and although I’d rather be a little more in-depth, it is a great way to show up and practice. 

So to conclude, I should do more focused learning. I should stop trying to do everything at once because it isn’t helping me. It makes me feel more productive but it doesn’t actually work.  Hormozi said: 20 hours of focused effort will probably make you decent at something. But most people wait years to do the first hour.

Build a personal brand that really suits you.


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