As we talk about being better men on this program everyday there is a lot of emphasis on fixing things that are wrong, on making note of things we need improvement in…and we do that because it is a critical component to becoming a better man.
Today I want to talk about the other side of the coin…Today I would like you all to consider those things about you that are exemplary, special, and unique.These are our particular human gifts, and I believe everybody has some.
Just as important as identifying and improving the things that need improving…is identifying what your personal unfair advantage is, and capitalizing on it.
What do I mean by unfair advantage?Well…I believe that everybody has some talent, ability, aptitude or gift that the majority of other people do not have.That is your unfair advantage.
It’s called an advantage because that’s what it is; an advantage…it’s unfair because the majority of other people do not have it.Being unfair does not make it wrong or bad…it just makes it special to you.
The trick is, uncovering and realizing what your unfair advantage is.Sometimes they are really obvious…for example my brother has an unfair advantage; he can do things with his voice that no one else can do.When he sings everyone stops talking, grown men get goosebumps, peoples pulse rate quickens, and people smile.
That is his unfair advantage because it is rare and unique to him.
Other people have advantages that are harder to spot, it might take some time to realize what they are…and some people go through their whole life never acknowledging that thing about them that makes them special.I think that is tragic, because until you recognize and acknowledge what your special talent or aptitude is…it’s not really an advantage.It only becomes an advantage when you use it like one.
You can have more than one unfair advantage, you can have several.And your personal advantage might change or shift as you get older.If you start paying attention right now then you can make the most of these advantages as you go through life.If you go through a change or shift you can be flexible and recognize it…and use it to your best advantage.
To explain this further I’ll use the metaphor of an American football team.Everybody on the field has an unfair advantage when compared to the rest of the population…that is their athletic ability, not everyone can play football.
But when you break it down further, within the team each player has something different that they are better at than the other players.Some guys are good at throwing the ball, some guys are better at catching, some are super fast runners, or really agile and able to duck and dodge, while other guys have the advantage of size and strength that allow them to move other players around and make tackles.All of these guys have realized what their unfair advantage is within the realm of the game of football, that’s why they are in those positions.They are all equally important because it takes all of them to make a team.
Now lets expand that metaphor to life itself.In every group of people, at every workplace, in every organization that you are ever a part of there will be something that you are better at than most of the other people there.
Today I’m telling you to figure out what that things is…and take advantage of it, capitalize on it…because it’s yours.
It would have been a shame if my brother would have never started singing…and it would be equally shame if you have some hidden aptitude that you don’t share with the world around you, to your own advantage.
Your particular unfair advantage can be something really simple, so simple you might not recognize it as an advantage at all.For example I knew a guy that was really good at math, he could figure stuff out in his head really easy…he took advantage of that in his job but also socially.People came to rely and trust in his ability with numbers which helped him build and improve all of his relationships.
So this guy turned an aptitude for math into an unfair advantage that helped him excel in his career and also give him social value that he would not have…if he didn’t use it that way.
The point I am making is that it does’t have to be something exciting and exotic, you don’t have to be a singer or a star athlete…any aptitude you have can be turned into an unfair advantage that can enhance your life if you use it that way.
Maybe your really funny, or diplomatic, or good at building things or understanding how engines work, you’re a natural leader, you have creative ideas, you’re good at gardening or cooking or listening to other people or making tough decisions…whatever it is, you are one of the best at it…and you owe it to yourself to get all you can out of that ability.
Some of you listening are already aware of what your unfair advantage is…that’s great, continue to develop it and keep looking for more.
The rest of you may have never considered this before.If you are having a hard time figuring out what your unfair advantage is then one way of finding out is simply by asking the people who know you best.
Just say hey…I’m curious, what do you think my 3 best qualities are, or the 3 things I’m best at, or how would you describe me in 3 words…however you want to word it.The thing is many times other people see things in us that we can’t see ourselves.
Another thing you can do is take one of the personality / aptitude test that are on-line.There are a lot of them, and while I don’t swear by any of them they can be a good place to start.There is one that is pretty famous that a lot of employers use called the
Carl Jung’s and Isabel Briggs Myers’ typology test.Here is a link to that test:
So your call to action from this episode is to figure out what your personal unfair advantage is…and then figure out how to use that ability so it really does become an advantage in your life.It may turn out to not just be an advantage for you…but to all the people you share the world with as well, like in my brothers case.
If you have questions, or if you know what your advantage is and don’t know how to use it you can always send me an email…I’m here to help however I can.
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