Environmental, physical, and psychological factors limit our potential and narrow the range of things we can do with our lives. “Trying harder” cannot substitute for talent, equipment, and method, but this should not lead to despair. Rather, we should attempt to become the best we can be within our limitations. We try to find our niche. By the time we reach employment age, there is a finite range of jobs we can perform effectively.

What does 'niche' match in context above?

  1. the best we can be within our limitations

  2. a finite range of jobs we can perform effectively.


"Niche" here means the thing, or set of things, that a person can do well, or even best, the metaphorical place where a person is well suited. This usage is apparently derived from the use of "niche" as a technical term in ecology, where it refers to both the specific habitat and life style of an organism -- what it eats, how it avoids predation, how it finds shelter, etc.

Merriam-Webster give for niche sense 2b:

a habitat supplying the factors necessary for the existence of an organism or species

sense 2c:

: the ecological role of an organism in a community especially in regard to food consumption

as well as the more general sense 2a:

a place, employment, status, or activity for which a person or thing is best fitted

finally found her niche

Biology online gives:

(ecology) The specific area where an organism inhabits

(ecology) The role or function of an organism or species in an ecosystem

The Oxford living Dictionaries gives:

2 (one's niche) A comfortable or suitable position in life or employment.

‘he is now head chef at a leading law firm and feels he has found his niche’

2.1 Ecology A role taken by a type of organism within its community.

‘the niche left vacant by the disappearance of wolves’

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