John Stossel said, “Happiness comes when we test our skills toward some meaningful purpose.”
Are you a good artist? Can you write well? Do you know how to build or repair things?
Congratulations! You have skills.
But if you don’t pick up a paintbrush, put words on paper, or use your tools on a regular basis, you may as well not have those skills.
Stossel makes a good point here. We find happiness when we grind our skills against the rough edges of life’s challenges. Accomplishment brings fulfillment. Fulfillment brings confidence. Confidence brings happiness.
You can call that the trifecta of success.
Skill is the next block in the third tier of the Pyramid of Success. Having skill is crucial. But it’s more important to use your skills in the smartest ways.
There are three ways you can maximize your skills right now so they will bring you and your organization the greatest chance of success. They are simple, but not necessarily easy. You will have to put in some work to develop them. If you’re going to work anyway, why not spend your precious time wisely?
The first way to maximize your skills is to use them properly.
There may be more than one way to do most things. If you want to figure out the best way, see the result you want first. Then you’ll be able to work backward to get there. You might have to experiment. Maybe you can ask someone who knows a way that works. Try several approaches and make the most effective one your own.
If you do this in a practice session, you’ll be able to use your skills better in the real world. If you can’t, learn from what you’ve done and develop your best practice.
The second way to maximize your skills is to use them quickly.
Using skills quickly will allow you to get more done each day. But be careful not to execute too quickly. Moving fast just to beat the clock can result in errors. Then you’ll have to go back and do it over, which will probably take longer than doing it right at a slower pace would have.
These methods must be used together to get the best results. The order is intentional. Master the method first. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to move faster without making mistakes.
The third way to maximize your skills is to use them at the right time.
This is especially apparent when you’re under pressure.
You’ve mastered the method. You’ve gained some speed. But if you don’t execute at the right time, the other factors don’t matter. If you want to score a basket, you’ve got to do it while the clock is running. You’ve got to be able to ring the basket, and you’ve got to do it before your opponent can block you.
In summary, use your skills properly, quickly, and at the right time.
Do all three and you triple your chances of reaching your objectives. You’ll add value to your team. And if there are ever cutbacks, your name won’t be next to the scissors.