curtis fisher.

discover (and practice) your superpower - ikigai

- 4 Minute Read

Every human is gifted with a unique superpower waiting to be tapped into. We're not always aware of our gifts, or how to use them. Continue reading to explore your unique gift and how to harness it.

This article is part of a mini-series on exploring Ikigai.

How to Determine What You're Good At

It might sound silly to ask what we're good at. It sounds like a question we should know the answer to right?

Ikigai Venn Diagram - What You Are Good At

If you already have the answer, then great, I'd suggest continuing on to the rest of the series! If there is even a sliver of a doubt in your mind that you're on the right path then I'd suggest taking the time to get certain.

Your Strengths and Your Weaknesses

Like superman, you have profound strengths coupled with the crippling pull of your own personal kryptonite.

There is no human alive with all strengths and no weaknesses. If you find someone without weakness, then I'd suggest you look a little closer. We exist in a world of tradeoffs.


A tradeoff is a compromise between two desirable but incompatible features. In the case of human personalities, those features are personality traits. Here are a few example tradeoffs to paint the picture:

  • Being spontaneous at the expense of planning things out thoughtfully.
  • Practicing caution in decision making at the expense of a willingness to take risks and embrace uncertainty.
  • Being highly sensitive to other's emotions and needs at the expense of maintaining emotional distance for more rational decision making.

Questions That Help You Explore Your Strengths

Keeping tradeoffs in mind, there are many questions we can ask ourselves to discover our strengths. Here are a few that I found and liked... I encourage you to spend some time genuinely answering these.

  • When have others consistently turned to you for help?
  • What tasks do you find easy that others struggle with?
  • In past feedback, what strengths were often highlighted?
  • What skills or talents do people often compliment you on?
  • How do you approach problems differently than others?
  • In what situations do others seem to listen to you more?

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

The MBTI was created as a personality tool to help classify individuals into one of 16 types. It is based off of Carl Jung's extensive research into the human pysche. While it's impossible to classify 8 billion humans into one of 16 types, the MBTI does a pretty darn good job at providing a personality approximation.

Exploring your MBTI type is a fantastic way to get a better understanding of what you are good at. There are many online free tests, and given the imperfection of survey data, it's important to find one with strong research principles. Here are a few that I like:

Personality typing is a great way to explore your strengths and weaknesses to discover what you are good at. MBTI is one of many personality typing systems; if you're interested in exploring some more, here are a few other personality tests to consider:

Finally, remember that personality testing is imperfect. Personality testing is a great way to provide direction, but do not rely on these tests alone to tell you who you are, or what you are good at.

Lean Into Your Strengths instead of Your Weaknesses

Once you have a good sense of your strengths and weaknesses, what should you do with that knowledge? I've spend a lot of time reflecting on my weaknesses and figuring out how to overcome them. Slowly, I came to realize that this might not be the best approach. This is why it's so important to consider tradeoffs.

Every strength is at the expense of something else AND each great weakness is paired with great strength. By trying to get rid of your weaknesses, you are also fighting the strengths that accompany them.

Superman didn't spend his energy trying to figure out how to overcome his weakness to kryptonite. Superman used his superpowers to make humanity a better place. Perhaps we should do the same.