What Are You Best At?

“The best work is not what is most difficult for you; it is what you do best.” – Jean Paul Sartre

So figuring out what you do best, which is probably something you take for granted and don’t fully appreciate, is pretty important. In comparison, understanding what you find difficult is fairly easy!

Another interesting quote from Sartre is: “To be free isn’t doing what you want but wanting to to do what you can.”

I’ve sometimes come across people, in both business and research, that got themselves into trouble because what they ‘wanted to do’ was unfortunately not well aligned to their intrinsic skills. Ignoring this, they never refocused on to what they were naturally (often extremely) good at and, in the course of this, let potential opportunities in nearby areas completely pass them by.

A good way to help figure out your intrinsic skills is to ask friends and colleagues – if you phrase the question openly and creatively, you may be surprised at how helpful and perceptive some of the replies can be.


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