What if you were supposed to be a heart surgeon?

March 10, 2010          Comments (3)

Heart Surgeon

Do you think your current job best suits you? I doubt it.

I think we sort of fall into our careers. I don’t know many people who deliberately set out to do what they do. At least those doing out of the ordinary things.

Imagine if you were born knowing you had the natural ability to be the world’s best heart surgeon, or lawyer, or mechanic.

On the flip side, maybe you thought you had more talent in some field than you do, and wasted a lot of time preparing for the wrong career.

How does a law or medical student even know if they would actually like being a lawyer or doctor?

Here’s the problem we all face: We delude ourselves every day. We’re also heavily influenced by our own passion, optimism and pessimism.

And we’re influenced by other people’s opinions of our abilities. If you were showing an aptitude for math early on people might have encouraged you to pursue finance or accounting. If you were excelling in biology then you might have been pushed to go to medical school.

Like to argue? “You should be a lawyer!” everyone says.

The problem is other people are just as clueless as you.

So, if you can’t trust your own opinions and the opinions of those around you, whose can you trust?

You need to focus on getting feedback from the right people. People who’ve been in the game you’re trying to play in long enough to recognize talent.

For example, the right people for MBT for me to really listen to are those that have tried everything under the sun. Many clients have told me that MBT is the most effective program they’ve ever come across.

This sounds like lip service. But I wouldn’t have invested (and continue to do so) as much time, effort and money as I did into MBT if I wasn’t getting feedback like this.

I have a client that’s written a NY Times Bestselling Diet book. She was even on Oprah. (One day I hope to introduce you to her.) Another client runs a world-renown weight loss clinic. (I hope to introduce you to her as well.)

And many clients have been on and off diets for years trying anything and everything.

Sure, I listen to the delighted client who lost 20 pounds.

However, it’s the clients that have been in the game for years that I really listen to because if they didn’t like my program, or believe in it, it would be time to close up shop.

Who are you listening to?

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  1. Adam:

    Thought provoking post, as usual. If I understand you correctly, you’re saying to seek feedback from people who have a proven ability to recognize talent.

    Those who have experience in the arena you’re trying to play in. This reminds of Daniel Gilbert’s Stumbling on Happiness where he encourages us to ask people who are in the exact positions we want to be in.

    Keep the great content coming. We missed you for the past few weeks.


    Comment by Bob Greenfield — March 10, 2010 @ 5:52 pm

  2. Bob, thanks for the kind words! Yes, exactly right! Thanks for summarizing it up so nicely. This is more important than most people think. Daniel Gilbert’s SOH is a classic.


    Comment by Adam Gilbert — March 15, 2010 @ 9:11 pm

  3. A lot of people fall into that trap.

    I thought I wanted to be a doctor….but I was lucky…because in high school they offered a class where I got to shadow TEN different doctors for a full year…3 times a week for 3 hours at a time.

    You know what? I HATED IT. I didn’t enjoy medicine, I wasn’t an empathetic person and I just in general detested being in a medical environment.

    I find owning my own businesses has allowed me to act younger than most of my friends because I get to do stuff I like.

    Comment by Neville — March 17, 2010 @ 3:15 pm

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