Life is so much nicer all around when we like what is happening; what we are doing, where we are living and so on. Sometimes we forget that there is a difference between liking, affinity, and skill at a task, or ability. We all have skills that we could use to our advantage but often don’t because we just don’t have the affinity.
I’ve met plenty of people who, without saying it straight up, think that they will know they are on the right track because everything will snap into place – life will be easier and smoother if they are in the right place. If things are difficult, it must be the wrong direction or place or whatever. How many times have you been in a discussion with someone who shuts you down on a topic with something like, ‘oh, I’m not any good at (fill in the blank)’?
Math doesn’t have any sort of magic for me like words do, I just don’t have much of an affinity. But I have come to understand the importance of having a math competency – in financial dealings at the very least. I will never gravitate to math, but I can be proud that I can master the more important math concepts and make use of them in my life. And I have discovered that there are fascinating parts of math – statistics and economics do stir my curiosity.
We don’t get to arrange all of the pieces of our lives so that we can focus only on those things that we like. (We’re lucky to arrange most of them, the big ones hopefully.) And it isn’t always clear to see when you are on the right track, because that track might be just as bumpy and difficult as the wrong one.
Writing is a skill that makes plenty of people grimace, I both understand and feel consternated about this fact. But like math for me, it is an ability that can be developed to serve your overall purpose. You can like what a competency in a certain skill brings you without having an affinity for the concepts of the skill.
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