Choice as talent

I took some time on Christmas eve listening to the latest podcast episode of People I Mostly Admire and it was a lovely conversation between Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt. Over the past few years I’ve really enjoyed the podcast on Freakonomics radio and it’s impressive the amount of quality educational content that has come out of it.

One of the interesting ideas introduced in this episode was raised by Dubner on how one’s choice could be one’s talent. It turns out to be something incredibly important, especially in the Asian context where there’s a highly competitive environment and one could be surrounded by lots of highly talented people. I have in fact talked about how talents cannot possibly be born, but rather, the market recognises some kind of value for it which encourages and incentivise effort that enhances it. For most of us, we could perhaps fare really well by recognising that our choices can propel us in life. Thinking through our strengths and then making the choices to push ourselves into roles where we can leverage our talents works for more people than we realise.

The approach isn’t so much about sticking it through than to define some kind of exploration phase, development phase and pivoting phases where one identifies sets of strength and abilities, then consider the roles, value-creation, and gradually make them work within the context or community they operate within. Each step involves choices. And continually making choices, even if they might be wrong, is the way to move forward, to improve and to keep on pushing towards a point worth going.