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Old 03-03-13, 10:51 AM   #1
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Default March: Advice of the Month

¿Qué tal?

This month's advice, again, deals with something I've recently went through and learned. The topic of discussion deals with talents, abilities, any other human-like attributes, and how they affect our lives.

Society plays a large part in how we view ourselves--we must be intelligent, gorgeous, successful, and well-thought by all people. While we may not always realize this, humans are programed from a very young age to conform with society. We are expected to desire intelligence and success, as it is deemed crucial to our "image" and well-being. We are pressed to spend countless hours getting ready in front of a mirror before we leave for work. Often times people see society in a functionalist manner. Do not challenge the status quo, or you will be considered mala fide. Do not appear different, or you may be diagnosed with a mental disorder. Whatever the case may be, we are trained to express to others our worth based on our positive attributes. You wear make-up and take countless pictures of yourself to express your abilitiy to "look pretty." You use large words and get into philosophical debates to express your talented mind. You bench press 320 to show off your physique. Obviously this is a generalized statement and doesn't hold to everyone or every situation, but you hopefully get the idea. It can be easy to become fixated on what we have and don't have. Is life really based on your features and how they compare to someone else's? As they say, "there is always someone smarter, stronger, and faster."

So what does this have to do with my advice? Well, life is more than what you are. I became fixated on intelligence because I thought that was what life was about; I felt that someone's worth was based on how intelligent they are. The fact of the matter is, it's not about your skills. The whole purpose of your abilities are to use them to complete goals. That may seem pretty obvious and elementary, but reflect on that thought. It's not about how smart you are. It's not about how pretty or physically gifted you are. It's not about your artistic eye or ear. Those things play a part in your life, but that doesn't make your life. Your life needs to consist of goals you would want to complete before you die, but using those god-given talents.

"I don't have any talents or abilities. I'm not smart, pretty, strong, or well-thought." No, that's actually not the case. It's easy to think that, right? If you feel this way, do you believe you are the only one? I'm sure most people have thought this before, but in other people's eyes, they have many talents. If you feel that you have nothing to offer, then you need to start finding things you enjoy. If you're not good at music, learn an instrument. If you want to be great at a sport, then do it. It's okay to cheat the system and compensate a talent with work ethic.

So the main message is to stop fixating on your talents (or lackthereof) and start focusing on what you want out of life. Take those talents to assist you in your goals you set. If you want to change the world and you are pretty good with music, go to a rest home and play them songs. If you are gifted intellectually, find the cure for different cancers. If you feel you don't have any abilities, then find a goal and stick to it. I promise we are all capable of something, so it's your mission to find it.

So after this long speech, I feel the need to write out a "plan" that may get people started. This is something I have done over the past few days, so I strongly suggest you attempt this; I wouldn't give this advice if it didn't work.

1) Make a list of your talents and desires for talents:
So, write down things you have been successful in. Whether it be big things or small, write down any accomplishments in your life. Write down things you want to be good at. Write down the kind of person you want to be. If you don't know what kind of person you want to be, write down how you want your child to be. Basically, get an idea of who you are and what you have.

2) Make a timeline from birth to death:
This may be the most difficult part of this exercise. Make a list of things that have happened throughout your life. Write out major things and minor things that you can remember. Write that you got diagnosed with __ in the past. Write that, in 2005, you won a quiz bowl. Whatever the case, write out where you've been up until this point. Then, write all the things you want to do before you die. Not only does this give you an idea of the kind of person you are, but it shows you what you want out of life. If you knew you were going to die in two minutes, what would you regret not doing?

3) Focus on your core:
Once you have an idea of what talents you have and what you want in the future, go back to your core values. If you are religious, focus on your meaning of life. You see, it all starts with the core. If you don't believe in anything in particular, then focus on that exactly. You only have a little time, so you may as well do everything you can before you die. Depending on your core values will depend on everything else in your life. This is something I didn't want to look at, but it really sets everything else up.

4) Purpose to the pain:
I've preached on this before, but let's go back to it. Once you know who you are and what you want, then focus on the here and now. You're about to go outside and face the world with all your struggles. You must have a purpose for this. You now have the when, where, and how to your life, but what about the why? Why do all of this? This answer is different for every single person, so no one can answer it for you. This is the main thing of all of this: Why?
If you don't have an answer, then that's your problem. If you don't have an answer, then you've been living a lie your whole life, just going through the motions. So instead, find a purpose for your pain and struggles. Find a purpose to reach your goals. Some people say, "Well Ben, my core value is that nothing is really important, so I don't have a purpose." I can understand this concept, but life is honestly what you make of it. So you can make up any purpose you want. When it's all said and done, you need to have a reason to do what you do.

Whew. Well, there it is. To sum it all up, life is more so about what you do with your skills than the skills themselves. It's not about how smart you are, but what you do with it. This idea also helps you stop comparing yourself to others. They have their talents for their goal, but you have your talents for your goals. The trick is to link your talents with your goals. Then, take some time alone and go through the above steps. Find out exactly who you are and what you want your goal(s) to be. In doing so, you now have reason.

I hope this helps at least one person. I feel that everyone should do this, but that's just me.
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Old 03-03-13, 10:53 AM   #2
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Default Re: March: Advice of the Month

Excellent advice man. Thanks for sharing!

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Old 03-03-13, 03:17 PM   #3
 
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Default Re: March: Advice of the Month

Thanks for sharing this with us
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Old 03-03-13, 07:57 PM   #4
 
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Default Re: March: Advice of the Month

you should have your own column
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