Thursday, August 13, 2009

How Aptitudes Repressed or Expressed, Can Shape Our Lives

Everyone has aptitudes. Aptitudes can be defined as those talents and skills that are innate in one's nature and that change very little, if at all, over time.

Aptitudes differ from "interests". This week, I became interested in fishing, but discovered I have little natural aptitude for it. To begin with, I honestly wanted a Dora the Explorer fishing set because, not only was it just cute as a button, if I inadvertently dropped it in the lake, it floated! But Tony told me that, uh... no, you are not going to embarrass both yourself and me in that fashion and flatly said I could not have it. I chose a "Ladies fishing set" instead, which was only one notch down in cuteness relative Dora- so I just tied an ugly white string to my pole- in case of a dropping mishap.

And those little minnows- gosh I felt so bad to stick... right. Back to business.

A.I.M.S. is a service I employed a few years back to help me figure out the proper and best direction that I could take with my talents, whatever they were, because back then, I wasn't sure what I was good at doing. I knew what I couldn't do, however. I can not cook my way out of a paper bag. I even flunked home economics and got kicked off the cheer leading squad. Yeah, I'm still bitter about that. Scratch "culinary arts".

"A.I.M.S." stands for "Aptitude Measurement Service". The idea is, you go in their brightly lit and mostly austere office, and pay a rather large amount of money, and they test you rigorously over the course of three full days.

This test is not a little multiple choice affair or fill in the blanks.

Here was what Entrepreneur Chick walked away with- both good and bad.

Unfortunately, the results of the test, in my opinion, is only geared to those entering the "job market". I am an entrepreneur. I am the job creator. I am not the job seeker. It took me several years to figure out why none of their expert recommendations- "private detective", "advertising", "marketing", "public office", "teaching"- appealed to me! That was the bad.

Here is the good. I am a "specialist extrovert", which only a small percentage of people are. Mostly, people are a "generalist introvert", meaning you know a little bit about everything and could be characterized as shy and withdrawn, or a "generalist extrovert," or a "specialist introvert"- meaning you hone in on one area of specialty, say you are a cardiologist, but you tend to keep to yourself more than you tend to be outgoing. I believe, only about 3 to 5 percent of everyone tested fails into my category.

I, they determined, function best by having "direct contact with many people" and that "routine tasks and activities are to be avoided" and that I score extremely high on the "idea-phoric" scale- denoting that I can "easily generate ideas quickly to solve problems." That's an entrepreneur. That's who I am.

When I learned to express who I am and not fit into something that's not a match for me at all, is when I began to flourish like two guppies in a big pond! I mean, I took off! It was so EASY.

In closing- if one does not understand where their aptitudes lie, and those aptitudes remain unexpressed, this can be a foundational cause for depression and deep dissatisfaction with life overall. As you see "who you are", is not in continuity, with "what you do". "What you do", is not "who you are". See the dichotomy? You see the inherent damage? It's like huge cow on the train track, just standing there. Someone's going to get hurt. There's surely going to be a derailment.

I would encourage everyone to go out of their way to deeply seek to understand who they are uniquely, as pre-determined by a natural set of aptitudes, and then build your life around what those are- going along with your intrinsic inner "current" rather than fighting a strong and perpetual under tow that will only ultimately drag you down deeper and deeper and deeper, into a person you were never meant to be.

(I dedicate this post today to a same-soul Sistah, Ms. Avery.)

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