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Essay on Aptitude

  • Date Submitted: 11/03/2010 10:24 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 54.8 
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Essay on Aptitude
Bobby and I were preschool classmates and one day got into a bit of a tiff. The teacher said to me “Now, Jenni, be nice. Just think, Bobby could be President of the United States someday!” Apparently I gravely turned to the teacher and informed her, “I could be President of the United States someday.” My parents thought this story was hysterical (it became part of the family lore), but certainly never tried to dissuade me from the belief I could do anything I really put my mind to.
There are many factors to be considered when designing a successful, fulfilling career, but the one most often overlooked is aptitude.   While you may be able to do anything you put your mind to, that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to do it well.   We know instinctively people have different aptitudes or innate talents.   I recently traveled to the University of Houston with a co-worker who, after traversing between several buildings, looked at a model of the campus and instantly saw where we were located.   Let’s just say I didn’t have the same experience (I was still trying to figure out what it was a model of).
One problem is that people often confuse aptitude and skills.   A skill is the ability to perform a task.   Although you can increase your knowledge and skills through education and experience, your innate aptitude is largely immutable.   Given sufficient intelligence and drive, you can become competent in just about anything you set your mind to.   But if you don’t understand innate talents, you’re not likely to be very happy doing it.   Consider the flip side as well.   According to this article, “an unused aptitude is a source of frustration and restlessness.”  
Making matters more difficult is our inability to accurately assess our own talents.   As Nicholas Lore describes in his book The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success , most people focus on the skills they have worked the hardest to develop and take for...

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