Don’t let the media or the corporations fool you. Across the United States, there is a multitude of men, some young and some somewhat older, who yearn to know how they might do great things in the service of others. And they want after opportunities to stare down impossible challenges and own the day. No matter how hard the system beats them back, they harbor a profound desire to inspire others, define their generation, and capture what is exceptional in us.
How do I know?
The answer is simple. They tell me when I talk to them, in conversations with so many. And in truth, I also am one of them.
But at least for many of those men, they’re often unsure where to turn or what step to take next. And that’s understandable. If you haven’t been paying attention, it’s almost as if our society is trying to create an unending sense of depression, anxiety, and powerlessness among men. And young men in particular.
So, what’s the alternative?
By discovering and recognizing what you’re truly good at, you’ll be able to throw your hat into the ring. And you’ll be able to bring those talents to whatever tribe or crew you choose to join. And they’ll respect you for it. Better still, often, a man’s talents or his gifts help ground his character in true experiences. And help you realize your sense of integrity in a tangible way.
This is one of the first steps to greatness.
But how do you find out what your gifts really are? And once you’ve found them, how do you put them to good use?
- Compare the talents and gifts of those around you
A perfect place to start for ideas is to take note of those around you. Granted, you’re not trying to simply copy down whatever they’re good at and acting like that’s your path. But this can give you a good starting point to compare and contrast yourself.
- Look at the activities you find yourself doing most
Still, your talents or gifts are most likely not to be the same as your closest friends. Although there may be overlap, you probably have activities you engage in that you can’t help but do. Whether it’s reading books about fitness or taking every opportunity you can to teach others around you, talents and gifts often feel like a compulsion.
- Ask yourself which are easiest for you to make progress in
At the same time, many men too often take their gifts and talents for granted, not realizing what they are or what they could be. You may not even realize that you have a talent or gift because it simply seems so easy for you. This is a common pitfall for many men, so make sure you’re not falling prey to it.
- Next, consider which make you feel confident and purposeful
For example, my own two major gifts are storytelling and discernment. And it would be very difficult for me to give these up if only because they bring a steadfast purpose to my life. Yet, it’s more than feeling like I’d have to give up my confidence or purpose if I abandoned these two. Instead, by bringing them to fruition, I know that I’m best able to develop and actualize an impenetrable sense of integrity.
- Choose one or two of these and roll with them
And that sense of integrity I spoke of comes from taking a go at one or two of the possibilities you’ve put together for yourself. You might find that a few years from now, you’d like to try a different one from your list. Still, for now, you might not be totally sure if these will be your true gifts or talents. But in the challenges, failures, and successes you’ll experience with them, you’ll also be developing that sense of character that other men of integrity recognize. And soon enough, you’ll know which ones are going to stick.
- Consult with your most trusted friends or your mentor
Finally, talk with your closest friends or your mentor. If you’re still wondering whether you’ve really found your gifts or talents, they can serve as a good guidepost. And even if you feel you’ve hit on what might bring you greatness, they can add two additional but also critical pieces to the puzzle. First, opportunities or suggestions for honing your aptitudes into expertise. But lastly, they also bring you your chance to add them to the stock of arms for your own band of brothers.