Marcus Buckingham

Most people focus on their weaknesses, not necessarily because they’re puritanical, but really because they’re optimistic. They are naively well-intentioned. I think the basic assumption that we’re challenging…is that anyone can learn to be anything they want to be. What we can help people …to know, is that you can’t be anything you want to be. We can help people to know that there’s a difference between talents, skills and knowledge. Skills and knowledge can and should be acquired, but talents — your recurring patterns of thought or feeling or behavior — are enduring, are resistant to change, are unique.

I think we can help educate the world that the most depressing thing to say to somebody is, “You can be anything you want to be.” That’s actually a depressing thought, because if you can be anything you want to be, then you’re not unique, you’re not different from me, you don’t have unique hopes and dreams and talents, you’re just a blank sheet of canvas.

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