What To Do When You Don’t Enjoy What You’re Good At
Often in each of us there are a limited number of skills we’re truly good at. Whether or not these skills and talents occur naturally or through diligent practice rarely matters, but nevertheless they act as a muscle we can flex when the opportunity arises. Some of us may be gifted painters, and others talented writers. Some may be skilled craftsmen, and others may be brilliant negotiators. The one single skill that we possess a knack for is often the same one society tells us to put more time and energy into, further honing our abilities like that of a dolphin training for its routine at Sea World.
But what if you’re like that dolphin in that you don’t care for your talent? The dolphin can jump and catch and kiss and dive, and the crowds come to see it perform these acts because it’s good at them — but let’s be honest for the dolphin’s sake and admit that the dolphin likely hates that shit. Right?
Okay, let’s drop the dolphin analogy for a moment.
We’re clearly not dolphins, and we have far more control over our lives than they do. But regardless of that fact, the world often controls us through a similar means that we control the dolphin. It forces us to become individuals, and in doing so we find ways we are ‘special’ and different from others. These differences that make us individuals are the same traits we’re told to harness and follow to the fullest degree, capitalizing on our abilities. It’s a slippery slope that often starts before we’re cognizant enough to make our own decisions or form personal opinions. But regardless we travel down that path.
So what happens if you hate what you’re good at? What happens if society has labeled you based on your abilities and forced your hand to continue down that one particular path throughout time? Every break you’ve gotten in life is because of what you’re good at — and you don’t even like it.
This likely sounds like an eye-rolling concept to some. While most of us possess talents, this in itself doesn’t always mean that we all capitalize on them. In fact many of us come and go on this Earth never realizing our purest talent simply because we never happened to find it. But for those that have, and feel stuck in the process, there is a way out that is both simple, yet challenging.
Do what makes you happy. Be uncomfortable, and follow your passion.
Chances are most of us that haven’t found our true talent will look at you like you’re a bit crazy. After all, you’re just so good at what you do — how could you ever see doing anything else? It’s like that scene in Good Will Hunting when Ben Affleck tells Matt Damon he’s fucking up his life if he doesn’t capitalize on being smart. Now for the sake of the movie, we know Matt Damon wants to be smart in his heart.
But what if he just…didn’t want to capitalize on his genius? We’d call it a waste of a life, but he doesn’t have to do something that he’s not interested in. He could have very well gone on to work in construction and if that made him happy, we’d have to live with that fact. And the same can be said for anyone with talent that doesn’t like what they do — we can cry and moan all we want about their “wasted talent”, but they don’t have to suffer through something that isn’t their passion.
If you don’t find enjoyment in what you’re good at, the hardest thing to do is leave. This isn’t only because you’re passing up a talent, but even more so because the world is telling you that passing up on talent is wrong.
But with one life to live on this Earth, what are you going to do? Who are you going to be? You can be the exact person the world expects you to be…or you can be exactly who you want to be. At the end of the day, the choice to follow your passion or remain where you are is only yours. This fact goes for all those that hesitate to make the initial leap towards doing what they enjoy, talented or not. If you choose to tread down the path that brings you no joy, the opportunity to jump off will only grow smaller by the day.
You’ll always find a reason to stay on the same path you walk down now — especially if that path resonates with your talent. But when will you have the courage to jump off your path?
The time is always now.