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How To Unlock Your Innate Abilities And Use It For Success

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How To Unlock Your Innate Abilities And Use It For Success

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There’s this myth about success—that if you just put in enough work at any task, you’ll automatically develop your skills and be successful. So, we’ve created a society of really hard workers and branded “hustle culture” as a badge of honor.

But what if that’s not the only way? What if it’s not even the most effective way?

Study any successful person, and you’ll notice one thing very quickly: Contrary to popular belief, successful people aren’t necessarily the most skilled or talented in their field.

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They don’t have any innate ability to guarantee their success. In many cases, they may even hire experts more skilled than them in their field.

Figuring Out Your Innate Abilities

Instead of trying to adapt themselves to the situation, successful people have an uncanny ability to choose and adapt situations to suit them. In short, they know what they can do better than anyone in the world—and they lean on it.

For some, it’s getting so excited and animated during a sales pitch that the audience just can’t help but get swept up by your passion. For others, it’s looking at their employees deeply in the eyes while talking to them and being unafraid to show their emotion.

In fact, every single one of us has a unique way we already lean on in our successful moments. It’s a strategy we’ve subconsciously learned to do over and over again because it works and feels natural.

All we have to do is figure out what that is.

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Are You Just a Fish Trying to Climb a Tree?

The truth is most of us are actively working against our innate abilities.

You may have grown up in a house where you were “too much” and taught to tone it down. You may have been trained out of your innate abilities by schools. Or you may be in a job that just doesn’t know how to leverage them.

Take this quote often (dubiously) attributed to Albert Einstein:

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

Someone who’s really playful and free is going to struggle in a very structured corporate environment. Just as much as someone who’s really methodical is going to hate a ruleless, creative atmosphere.

The key to success is not to be the best at everything. The key to success is to know exactly what your innate abilities are and position yourself in opportunities that highlight them.

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If you know what your innate abilities are, you know your personal formula for success.

How Do I Unlock My Own Abilities?

Before understanding what your innate abilities are, we have to figure out where innate abilities come from—and how it intersects with this vague idea called “purpose.”

Because of the work that I do, people love to come up to me and say, “I’ve finally figured out my purpose. I’m meant to be a life coach or writer or entrepreneur.” And that’s fantastic.

But here’s the thing—if you can achieve a purpose, that means you can also fail it. And that doesn’t make much sense. How can you fail a purpose?

Furthermore, if you can achieve a purpose, that means you didn’t have it at a certain point. So, did you just not have a purpose as a baby? That doesn’t make much sense either.

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Of course, you had a purpose as a baby. But you didn’t have achievements. You didn’t even have skills or abilities yet.

You just had one thing: sensitivities.

What Are Sensitivities?

Every single baby in the world is sensitive to certain things, and it’s different for every single baby.

Some babies are sensitive to connection, and they love looking their moms in the eyes. These are the babies who need to be held a little more. As they grow up, because they’re sensitive to connection, these people tend to be extra sensitive to being rejected or left out.

They often make amazing networkers and hosts because they’re sensitive to what it feels like to be left out and because they’ve spent their lifetimes honing the skills of what they’re sensitive to.

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When these people give lots of eye contact, share personal details of their life, and make people feel close to them, they tend to be naturally more successful in every aspect of their lives.

But what about other babies? Some babies are sensitive to feeling thrilled. These are the babies who love peek-a-boo surprises and being lightly tossed in the air. As they grow up, they tend to get bored easily and search for the next adventure or rollercoaster.

They often make captivating speakers and bring lots of energy to their interactions. And they’re the type who do well taking big risks—because they’ve spent a lifetime honing the skills of the thrill.

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Then there are the babies sensitive to freedom and vulnerability, safety and understanding, and just about anything you can imagine.

Having a purpose isn’t that you are meant to be a life coach. It’s why life coaching feels so purposeful to you, and that’s because you’re sensitive to it.

Innate abilities come from what we’re most sensitive to. If you’ve sensed it more—seen, tasted, touched, smelled, heard it more than anyone else—you’re going to have more natural abilities in that area.

Map what you’re most sensitive to, and it’ll be abundantly clear what you subconsciously do every time you’re successful—what your innate abilities are and how to unlock them for success.

How Do I Map What I’m Sensitive To?

Figuring out your innate abilities can sound tricky and requires you to take those long leadership style tests or send out surveys to friends and family.

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But since you sense things in every moment, figuring out what you’re most sensitive to is easy. It’s simply what you feel deepest at any moment.

Try this super quick exercise to understand what you’re sensitive to, and then we’ll dive into how to unlock your innate abilities for success.

Sensitivities Exercise

Grab a piece of paper and answer the following prompts. This exercise should only take 5 to 10 minutes.

Step #1

List out three jobs you’ve had in your life and three things you made people feel in each of these jobs.

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For example: Let’s say you were a school teacher, and you made students feel empowered, safe to learn, and engaged with the material.

Step #2

Think of one of the most challenging moments of your life. List out three things you felt in that moment and three things you wish you felt.

For example: Let’s say it was the day your grandmother died, and you felt heartbroken, alone, and unsupported. You wanted to feel connected, loved, and supported.

Step #3

Think of one of the happiest moments of your life. List out three things you felt in that moment.

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For example: Let’s say it was the day you got married, and you felt intimate, playful, and successful.

Once you’ve answered these quick prompts, look for any repeated words or very similar words. For example, “heard” and “understood” might be getting to the same idea. Or, “connected” and “intimate” might feel close to you.

Our sensitivities are revealed in the patterns we feel most, even in this short, simple exercise. See if you can get at least four or five clear sensitivities from repeated patterns.

Now What?

Now, here’s where the fun can happen. Once you know what you’re sensitive to, I want you to take a moment to think of a time when you were really successful.

Did you exhibit those sensitivities in that moment without even thinking about it?

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Let’s pretend some of the sensitivities you wrote down are “understood” and “playful.” When you think of that successful moment, did you help someone feel really understood, but you also made the entire experience fun and playful?

Chances are, you did.

It works because it’s an innate ability. Any time you don’t feel understood or playful or make others feel that way, you’re more likely to fail at a project because it doesn’t play to your strengths.

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So, here are some tips for success.

  • Ask clarifying questions before you start any project.
  • Make sure everyone is on the same page.
  • Invest in fun and team-building exercises.
  • Bring music or dance in to shake things up when you’re stuck.
  • Turn brainstorms into games.

The more that you can build an environment—in work or personal life—that makes you feel those sensitivities, the more successful you will become.

If something isn’t working out, it can become very obvious why it isn’t working out. You can simply go through your list of sensitivities to figure out which innate ability you’re not showcasing and then build a strategy to tweak the situation to highlight that.

Make It Feel Like Coffee With a Best Friend

I’ve helped thousands of people to discover their innate abilities over the last decade, and I can tell you even this simple version here can be absolutely life-changing because it explains why something did or didn’t work out for you and what you can do about it.

If you can consistently choose opportunities and collaborators that help you to feel those sensitivities and continuously focus on making people feel them over anything else, your odds of success increase astronomically.

What we really want is for everything to feel like coffee with a best friend—that feeling when we’re just sitting there chatting and hours fly by, genius spills out of us, and we forget to try.

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What’s that thing you naturally do when you’re confident? What’s that thing you subconsciously do when you’re successful?

What if speaking engagements could feel like that? Or sales pitches? Or team meetings? Or even hard conversations with a friend or partner?

If you know what you’re sensitive to, you know what you experience deeper than anyone else and, therefore, what your innate abilities are.

Then, you know if “connecting” over coffee or “thrilling” people with a riveting story would work better. You know if running a “creative” brainstorming session or building a “structured” meeting would work better.

You adapt the situation to fit your greatest strengths, not the other way around. When you know your innate abilities, you know your personal best and easiest path to success.

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Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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Science

Global Warming Causes Fewer Tropical Cyclones

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Global Warming Causes Fewer Tropical Cyclones

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But having fewer hurricanes and typhoons does not make them less of a threat. Those that do manage to form are more likely to reach higher intensities as the world continues to heat up with the burning of fossil fuels.


Scientists have been trying for decades to answer the question of how climate change will affect tropical cyclones, given the large-scale death and destruction these storms can cause. Climate models have suggested the number of storms should decline as global temperatures rise, but that had not been confirmed in the historical record. Detailed tropical cyclone data from satellites only go back until about the 1970s, which is not long enough to pick out trends driven by global warming.


The new study worked around those limitations by using what is called a reanalysis: the highest-quality available observations are fed into a weather computer model. “That’s something which gets us close to what the observation would have looked like,” essentially “filling in the gaps,” says study co-author Savin Chand, an atmospheric scientist at Federation University Australia. This gives researchers a reasonably realistic picture of the atmosphere over time, in this case going back to 1850. Chand and his team developed an algorithm that could pick out tropical cyclones in that reanalysis data set, enabling them to look for trends over a 162-year period.

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They found the 13 percent global decrease in tropical cyclones over the period of 1900 to 2012, compared with 1850 to 1900 (the latter is widely considered a pre-global-warming reference period). There was an even larger decline of about 23 percent since around 1950, around the time global temperatures started to noticeably rise. The declines vary in different parts of the ocean. For example, the western North Pacific saw 9 percent fewer storms, and the eastern North Pacific saw 18 percent fewer over the 20th and early 21st centuries. And the North Atlantic results indicated a peculiar trend, showing an overall decrease over the past century—but with an uptick in recent decades. That shorter-term increase could be linked to natural climate variations, better detection of storms or a decrease in aerosol pollution (because aerosols have a cooling effect, and tropical cyclones thrive on warm waters).


The study provides crucial ground-truth information for evaluating climate model projections of further future changes in cyclone frequency, says Kimberly Wood, a tropical meteorologist at Mississippi State University, who was not involved with the paper.


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Chand and his colleagues link the decrease in tropical storm frequency to changes in atmospheric conditions that constrict convection—the process where warm, moist air surges upward in the atmosphere, which allows tropical cyclones to develop from small weather disturbances that act as the “seeds.” The researchers think those changes are caused by warming-driven shifts in global atmospheric circulation patterns. “It’s a pretty holistic view,” Wood says of the analysis.


But even if there are fewer tropical cyclones overall, a larger proportion of those that do form are expected to reach higher intensities because global warming is also raising sea-surface temperatures and making the atmosphere warmer and moister—the conditions these storms thrive on. “Once a tropical cyclone forms,” Chand says, “there is a lot of fuel in the atmosphere.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)

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    Andrea Thompson, an associate editor at Scientific American, covers sustainability. Follow her on Twitter @AndreaTWeather Credit: Nick Higgins

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    The effect of breast cancer screening is declining

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    The effect of breast cancer screening is declining

    Screening for breast cancer has a cost. This is shown by a Danish/Norwegian study that analysed 10,580 breast cancer deaths among Norwegian women aged 50 to 75 years.

    “The beneficial effect of screening is currently declining because the treatment of cancer is improving. Over the last 25 years, the mortality rate for breast cancer has been virtually halved,” says Henrik Støvring, who is behind the study.

    According to the researcher, the problem is that screenings lead to both overdiagnosis and overtreatment, which has a cost both on a human level and in terms of the economy.

    Overdiagnosis and overtreatment

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    When the screening was introduced, the assessment was that around twenty per cent of the deaths from breast cancer among those screened could be averted. While this corresponded to approximately 220 deaths a year in Denmark 25 years ago, today the number has been halved.

    The study shows that in 1996 it was necessary to invite 731 women to avoid a single breast cancer death in Norway, you would have to invite at least 1364 and probably closer to 3500 to achieve the same result in 2016.

    On the other hand, the adverse effects of screening are unchanged.

    “One in five women aged 50-70, who is told they have breast cancer, has received a ‘superfluous’ diagnosis because of screening — without screening, they would never have noticed or felt that they had breast cancer during their lifetime,” says the researcher.

    One in five corresponds to 900 women annually in Denmark. In addition, every year more than 5000 women are told that the screening has given rise to suspicion of breast cancer — a suspicion that later turns out to be incorrect.

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    Peaceful, small nodes — but in who?

    Henrik Støvring notes that the result is not beneficial for the screening programmes. According to him, the Norwegian results can also be transferred to Denmark. Here, women between 50 and 69 are offered a mammogram screening every second year. This is an X-ray examination of the breast, which can show whether the woman has cellular changes that could be breast cancer.

    The Danish screening programme became a national programme offered to all woman in the age group in 2007 — three years after the Norwegians. Approx. 300,000 Danish women are invited to screening for breast cancer every year.

    According to the researcher, the challenge is that we are not currently able to tell the difference between the small cancer tumours that will kill you and those that will not. Some of these small nodes are so peaceful or slow-growing that the woman would die a natural death with undetected breast cancer, if she had not been screened. But once a cancer node has been discovered, it must of course be treated, even though this was not necessary for some of the women — we just do not know who.

    “The women who are invited to screening live longer because all breast cancer patients live longer, and because we have got better drugs, more effective chemotherapy, and because we now have cancer care pathways, which mean the healthcare system reacts faster than it did a decade ago,” says Henrik Støvring.

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    Materials provided by Aarhus University. Original written by Helle Horskjær Hansen. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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    Thin-film photovoltaic technology combines efficiency and versatility

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    Thin-film photovoltaic technology combines efficiency and versatility

    Stacking solar cells increases their efficiency. Working with partners in the EU-funded PERCISTAND project, researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have produced perovskite/CIS tandem solar cells with an efficiency of nearly 25percent- the highest value achieved thus far with this technology. Moreover, this combination of materials is light and versatile, making it possible to envision the use of these tandem solar cells in vehicles, portable equipment, and devices that can be folded or rolled up. The researchers present their results in the journal ACS Energy Letters.

    Perovskite solar cells have made astounding progress over the past decade. Their efficiency is now comparable to that of the long-established silicon solar cells. Perovskites are innovative materials with a special crystal structure. Researchers worldwide are working to get perovskite photovoltaic technology ready for practical applications. The more electricity they generate per unit of surface area, the more attractive solar cells are for consumers

    The efficiency of solar cells can be increased by stacking two or more cells. If each of the stacked solar cells is especially efficient at absorbing light from a different part of the solar spectrum, inherent losses can be reduced and efficiency boosted. The efficiency is a measure of how much of the incident light is converted into electricity. Thanks to their versatility, perovskite solar cells make outstanding components for such tandems. Tandem solar cells using perovskites and silicon have reached a record efficiency level of over 29percent, considerably higher than that of individual cells made of perovskite (25.7percent) or silicon (26.7percent).

    Combining Perovskites with CIS for Mobility and Flexibility

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    Combining perovskites with other materials such as copper-indium-diselenide (CIS) or copper-indium-gallium-diselenide (CIGS) promises further benefits. Such combinations will make it possible to produce light and flexible tandem solar cells that can be installed not only on buildings but also on vehicles and portable equipment. Such solar cells could even be folded or rolled up for storage and extended when needed, for example on blinds or awnings to provide shade and generate electricity at the same time.

    An international team of researchers headed by Dr. Marco A. Ruiz-Preciado and tenure-track professor Ulrich W. Paetzold from the Light Technology Institute (LTI) and the Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT) at KIT has succeeded in producing perovskite/CIS tandem solar cells with a maximum efficiency of 24.9percent (23.5percent certified). “This is the highest reported efficiency for this technology and the first high efficiency level reached at all with a nearly gallium-free copper-indium diselenide solar cell in a tandem,” says Ruiz-Preciado. Reducing the amount of gallium results in a narrow band gap of approximately one electron volt (eV), which is very close to the ideal value of 0.96eV for the lower solar cell in a tandem.

    CIS Solar Cells with Narrow Band Gap- Perovskite Solar Cells with Low Bromine Content

    The band gap is a material characteristic that determines the part of the solar spectrum that a solar cell can absorb to generate electricity. In a monolithic tandem solar cell, the band gaps must be such that the two cells can produce similar currents to achieve maximum efficiency. If the lower cell’s band gap changes, the upper cell’s band gap has to be adjusted to the change, and vice versa.

    To adjust the band gap for efficient tandem integration, perovskites with high bromine content are usually used. However, this often leads to voltage drops and phase instability. Since the KIT researchers and their partners use CIS solar cells with a narrow band gap at the base of their tandems, they can produce their upper cells using perovskites with low bromine content, which results in cells that are more stable and efficient.

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    “Our study demonstrates the potential of perovskite/CIS tandem solar cells and establishes the foundation for future development to make further improvements in their efficiency,” says Paetzold. “We’ve reached this milestone thanks to the outstanding cooperation in the EU’s PERCISTAND project and, in particular, thanks to our close cooperation with the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research.” Important groundwork was done in the CAPITANO project funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK).

    Story Source:

    Materials provided by Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT). Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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