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Allan's Philosophy Podcast

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Philosophy on Facebook # 16 - Interests and Skills

So i was sleeping over at Glenn's house last night and then when we woke up we had a conversation about our dreams and somehow it lead to a really deep conversation about inspiration which inspired me to write this note lol. This note might be a little bit all over the place but i tried to capture the essence of our conversation as it flowed so here it goes...

I first wanna talk about when you are born. Two main things you are born with are your interests and skills. They are pretty self explanatory where your interests are what you like doing and skills are what you're good at doing. Sometimes these overlap and basically turn into a win-win situation where you enjoy what youre good at. This isnt always the case so you must try to find a happy median between these. When you are born, you are in a sense "preprogrammed" with a set of skills and interests. As you grow up you can try to modify these but for the most part they stay the same. For instance, if you aren't very good a baseball to begin with you can try really hard and in some rare occassions you can make it big but most of the times you wont get much better than a person who was naturally born with baseball skills who doesnt have to toil over the training you went through. Another example is with you parents who are the main people responsible to foster your abilities beyond yourself. They have a lot of control over you during your infancy and early childhood allowing them to mold and meld you into what fits their heart's content and their own optimal lifestyle. They place upon you their values and morals, but also their interests that may at some points contradict your preprogrammed skills and interests. This could be if your father wants you to follow in his steps and become a football star but you have no interest in sports, then regardless of your talents you wont be happy with the goals your father sets for you.

Your environment, as in a lot of situations, also plays a factor in your skills and interests because they limit the scope of what you are exposed to. If you deep down inside are interested in basketball but never were experienced to the game and didnt have the necessary equipment to play then your environment severly limited you and your potential. This is why it is best to get introductions to a broad range of things so you can better understand what is best suited for you based upon your interests and skills. This leads me to my next point about self discovery. Much of life is spent trying to figure out what you want to do. The way society is set up today is very limiting to the younger generations in their attempts to fine tune their interests into a career. By the time were are in college, based upon financial resources and practicality, most people are forced down paths that arent really the best for them. Once were out of college we are thrusted into the work force without the necessary time or experience to faciliate and foster our own developing ideals. This is why people like perhaps your parents, who start down a path when their are young and climb the ladder to their respective jobs, come home unhappy at night. They have dedicated so much of their life into something that they arent particularly happy with, but are sometimes beyond the tipping point, meaning that they cant turn back now because of a number of reasons that tie them down like family and monetary stability. Because of this you find that many adults are still "soul searching" trying to figure out what exactly they enjoy doing and what are they trying to get out of life.

My big piece of advice for you guys is something that I have found really helpful in my own search. You should try and put yourself out there as much as possible to gain exposure to a wide variety of topics. This allows you to weed out the things that you couldnt find yourself getting enjoyment out of doing it. Glenn said that you should try to do community service because it allows you to put yourself in the shoes of others giving you a whole new perspective on what might be a reasonable lifestyle for you to pursue. Thats a great idea and you should also do research for yourself because you never know what is out there to further develop potential interests or skills that you currently have. There are plenty of internships, volunteer work and other similar things out there for everybody. Good Luck on your self discovery and may good fortune be upon you on whatever you decide to do with your life.

-Allan Nicholas

P.S. im going to be at a leadership camp for the next couple days so I wont have the time to write another note in the near future so hopefully you'll be able to handle it lol

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