Jimi Smoot Entrepreneur / Software Engineer

Focus on being you

When I was younger I had a tendency to try to fit myself into situations that weren’t necessarily best for me. I think a lot of people do this. We try to modify ourselves to fit into a job or a group of people we want to be associated with.

But really this is a bad idea.

Not because you want to “stay true to yourself”, but because everybody is unique and brings something special to the table and if you really focus on whatever your special thing is you are in harmony with one of the fundamental ideas of humanity.

There was a really wonderful book that I read last year called Sapiens. In the book the author talks about how the human species is social. The way I understood this idea is that humanities strength is determined by dependence on each other. If this is true, specialization plays a critical role.

Specialization is important because without a bunch of different skills and strengths for each person you end up having a situation where people don’t need to cooperate to survive. For instance if there’s two people who are equally good at hunting, why should they partner if their skills overlap. More importantly, what keeps two hunters together? Really what you want is someone of that’s really good at hunting and another person that’s good at fishing. That way if hunting yields less food, the fisherman provides an alternate food source. This results in a symbiotic relationship where the strengths of one person help the other and vice versa.

So focus on being you. Find your strengths and make sure to reinforce those things. Thats what part of what is means to be human.

Tags: note to self