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What are your special abilities?

By December 24, 2016June 14th, 2018wisdom

Every person is really good at at least one thing.

Everyone has special abilities, things that impress their close friends and family members.

Weirdly, most people don’t fully appreciate their special abilities.

I recently did an exercise that asked me to email 5 close friends who had known me for at least 5 years and ask them to answer these two questions:

1. What is my most special ability?

2. What do I naturally do better than most people?

I was surprised by two things: (1) how quickly and thoughtfully people responded; and (2) the eerie consistency in how they all responded.

I recommend that you do this exercise with your friends. They’d love to help you discover your special abilities, if you give them a chance. And you’ll find their comments surprisingly helpful.

Here’s the email I sent, which you can easily use (or quickly modify) to send to your 5 close friends:

“Hey [firstname]:

I’m taking an online course and one exercise is to zero in on how close friends and family perceive you in certain ways. So I’m supposed to get 5 people to answer these two questions (brief answers are great):

What is my most special ability?

What do I naturally do better than most people?

Your insights would be greatly appreciated!!


I read about this in an email that was basically an “online course,” so I crafted the email to my friends/family in a way that wouldn’t make them think “why the hell is Ernie suddenly wondering what his special abilities are?”

Your email should prompt people to not wonder so much why you’re asking, but instead quickly respond with their “off the top of their head” responses.

If you want to know what my friends said about me, click here to read my follow-up blog post.

P.S. If you're a practicing lawyer, check out this Law Practice Assessment . After answering a few questions, you'll get detailed recommendations for improving five key areas of your practice.

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