What Is Your Aptitude

Dr. Purushothaman
September 27, 2013

To find your aptitude, begin by making an accurate assessment of your abilities. Success in life, your destiny, is highly dependent upon how you use your natural born talents, known as your aptitudes. To do this you must take an inventory of yourself.
Sit down and make a list of everything you do well, not just acceptable, but better than the average individual. Be honest with yourself. If an objective observer was looking at you, what would he say, how would he describe your talents?
What are you good at - Do you currently get to use your greatest talents in your job/career- What do you do that may seem effortless to you, but is a struggle for others - Have other people said, “You know, you would be great at...…?
Are you trying (and not being successful) at something right now that isn’t really “you”?
I am suggesting that while you are trying new things (and maybe struggling) don’t forget about what it is that you do well.
When this list is done, make a list of all the things you would like to do, even if you think you can't do them well. Make this list accurate and achievable. To place on your list, flying an airplane, when you have never flown before, would not be reasonable.
Write out a list of all the things you have always wanted to try, but have never tried. Also, write down the things you would want to try today. Don’t over think, don’t think about the likelihood, and don’t think about how you are going to act on it. The point is to know What you want before you devise, How you’re going to get it.
After you are done, look back at the list. What are you willing to try today? You don’t have to complete it, just begin with small steps. Circle them. It can be a few, it can be some, it can even be all.
Now, rank them. What is the thing you want to try out first? Label that as number 1. Then, move on to the thing you want to try next. Label that as number 2. And so on and so forth, until you get to the very last item you circled.
Now, it’s time to think about the HOW. How can you start trying the first few items you circled? Some of you may experience fear trying new things. That’s because you overcomplicate the process in your mind. You don’t have to quit your job, stop your studies, or denounce your dog. You simple need to take action of some sort while continuing with your normal path. Just start off with little steps. Take a course, volunteering, consult for someone. Just know that with each step, you’re gaining momentum, you’re getting a clearer idea of what you don’t want to do, and what you do want to do.
Now, I would like you to make a list of all the things you would like to do if you could. Maybe you don’t have the freedom or time at this moment, maybe finances are tight; if you could remove these obstacles, what would you do? What are your interests, what could youlearn.
Now, go back to the list of things you can do well. You are probably being much too hard on yourself. As most, we’ve seen people who really excel in these areas, far better than us and we tend to believe we’re just average. We have this voice in our heads telling us things like: "You could have done better," or "You’re not that good," or similar malicious thoughts. What’s worse is we listen to this voice as if it's the truth, the source of all knowledge. What you need to do is, shut off that voice.
You probably need to tackle your negative inner voice from several factors. Firstly, you need to lessen its effect so that negativity can be replaced by positive messages. This requires you to either imagine your negative voice with a volume control button or imagine that your negative inner voice speaks with a very funny accent. Either technique will short circuit this tone and wear down its power. As soon as you hear “You’re not good enough,” fight back and switch the volume button off or, talk back to it in a condescending tone. The smaller you can make this voice feel, the less adequate the better. Make it impossible to be taken seriously.
Once you have done that you can then begin replacing harmful patterns with positive intentions. These affirmations are the seeds which are planted to cultivate confidence and it's important to practice them regularly. Though they might be difficult at first, since we’ve grown accustom to hearing this voice over and over again, the tone will change. What I do guarantee is this, you will instantly feel better. Also, it is important to remember that having a negative inner voice can be a habit; you get used to hearing negativity day in day out. Switching to positive statements will soon become a habit if you practice it regularly.

Add these positive traits and listen to the things you do well. Speak as if you are your best friend, it's amazing how much more tolerant and forgiving we are with our friends than we are with ourselves. I’ve often stated, “We will say things to ourselves which we would never say to someone ells.” Once you become your best friend, you should be able to add a few more items to your list; friends often see the best in others. But do be honest - don't list things you feel you really can't do well.
Now, go to your list of things you like to do but you don't do well. Begin speaking with your new best friend, maybe there are something’s on this list which he believes shouldn’t be there, things which could be moved to your "do well" list. There probably are. If you like to do it, chances are you do it pretty well.
Next, go to your list of things you would like to do if you could. Ask yourself, "Why can't I do this?" Write down your reasons, talk them over with your friend and get some positive feedback.
So, now you have written down many things going on inside your head and you may be asking, “What good is this?” Well, you have just made an assessment of yourself. If you have made an accurate assessment, been honest with yourself, then you have a good idea of your strengths and weaknesses. This assessment isn't carved in stone since we can and always are in a state of change. But for now we will work with what's what we have.
Look over your lists again, are you focusing on all the things you feel you can't do and the reasons why you can't do them? STOP! Don't focus on what you can’t do, focus on your potential, focus on your strengths. Don't forget to include your undeveloped potential, as well. Train yourself to focus on your potential instead of your limitations.
Now that's not to say that you should ignore the reasons for not doing some of the things you would like to do; not at all! But look at them from the viewpoint of your strengths. For instance, you'd like to play basketball but you think you are too short, so you don't even try. In this case, you are looking at it from the viewpoint of your limitations. Now, when you look at it from the viewpoint of your strengths, you would say, "Well, I may be pretty short to play, BUT I am fast. I can handle the ball well. I have a lot of stamina. I can't change being short, but I can refuse to let my limitations overcome my strengths."
All of us will have difficulties which face us in whatever we are doing in life. How we respond to these problems, these challenges and these setbacks will determine our success or failure. Isn't it always inspiring to read about someone who in spite of great limitations reached success in an area of their life?
Focusing on your limitations lets those limitations make your decisions for you. Focusing on your strengths lets YOU make the decision and you will be more determined to develop your strengths to compensate. You will do well, because you will be doing what you really want to do and you will be determined to develop your full potential. Very few people concentrate on fully developing their strengths because they aren’t aware of their weaknesses. This is where you can truly gain an advantage. By knowing what disadvantages you have, you are able to determination your purpose. This will inspire you to fully develop the talents and skills.
Discovering your potential or talent and perfecting them into workable skills, puts many more tools within your reach. You have more to choose from, which also means that you can choose those that are more appropriate. This should be reason enough to dig deep into your resources and find that talent or that potential which you have, but have never put to good use. My aim in writing this is to get you, to look at yourself more positively and believe that you can achieve great things.
Believe in yourself and in your abilities. Know that you can achieve whatever you desire if you only have faith that you can.
I challenge you to think of something that you can achieve today. It doesn’t matters how small, only that you do it. I can assure your self-esteem will rise and that you will want to achieve more.
Please don’t let the days go by with so little to show for your time on Earth.

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