Discovering our own natural talents can be quite a difficult task. This is why there are experts whose work is focused on discovering the talents of other people. One of them is Doug Wilks, a talent researcher and founder of Strengths Launcher, who offers three key ways through which you can discover your talents. I hope that they will be sufficiently interesting for you and will help you discover tour real talents because each of us possesses them.
What you admired as a child?
First, take two minutes and try to remind yourself of your happiest memories of primary school. Think of and give an answer to the question: What made those moments so pleasant? What was the common thread?
For example, ask yourself if you were highly competitive at the age of nine? Maybe you liked playing football and each day you were just waiting to finish school so could go out and play. You lived for those moments. You cherished that moment when you could go out on the football field and start to compete.
Or maybe you enjoyed working on some large, competitive, team-oriented projects? All of your friends wanted to have you in their group. You had the talent to push your team to go further. You feasted on such opportunities. It was amazing for you and everyone around you.
Furthermore, as you think about these childhood memories, think and on similar actions, something which you admire as an adult. Why? Because you might still be highly competitive, but now you are competing to win new business ventures for your company or maybe you still want complex, strategic projects, but now you do it for an international consulting firm.
The question is why we make certain choices and enjoy certain activities? Why are we better at some things than others? In view of this issue, Wilkes speaks of ‘the talent theme’ which, as he says, is a naturally recurring pattern of thought, feeling or behavior that can be productively applied. Furthermore, understanding your unique talents will give you answers to all these questions. Your unique talents will show you why you make certain choices or enjoy specific activities and why you are better at some things than others.
The conclusion is to understand that what you admired while you were a pupil or student and what impresses you as now as an adult are actually very similar things. You only use your talent themes in different environments. In other words, discover which of today’s tasks remind you the most of the joy that you had 20 or 30 years ago? Find a way how to move your work today in a direction of what you admired yesterday. School memories are powerful stories that reveal what your talents are and how to use them properly.
What makes you lose track of time?
Imagine it is Saturday morning, 09:00 am. You are free, virtually without any obligations and you have several free hours on your calendar.
You start the day with your favorite activity. Maybe playing guitar, jogging, working around the garden or writing a novel. Or maybe do some coding on the computer. This activity, no matter which one, it pulls like a vacuum cleaner. Your mind, body, and intuition begin to work in perfect symmetry. You lose track of time. Before you realize, it’s 12:30 pm and you still have not even thought of having breakfast.
And what if your job is just as satisfying as your weekend morning project? Is it even possible to capture and use that kind of magic? If YES, then pay very close attention to such moments. If you’re so much seized with an activity that you lose track of time, you are experiencing one of the main symptoms of flow. And if experiencing any quantity of flow in a project, you also likely exploit one or more of your natural talents.
What do you long for?
The third key point, Wilkes begins explaining with the question: What fire is burning inside of you at this point? Never before in the history of humankind, was easier to start fulfilling your life’s mission.
Do you want to blog? Cool. Start your own blog.
Do you know how to knit? Super. Make a few extra scarves and start selling them.
Does even the thought of meeting and connecting with new people sent you into a state of extreme happiness? Great. Launch a meeting place for local executives in your city.
Do you enjoy doing all three things? Even better. Start a monthly meeting for bloggers who are experts in knitting scarves.
In the perfect world, everyone will use their strengths for work each day. Unfortunately, that is not the case with most people. In fact, there is a statistic that says 63% of workers worldwide are not engaged in their work. And this does not even include the 24 % who are actively disengaged.
Although there are several reasons for this, one of the key factors is that most employees do not use their natural talents to work on a daily basis. They are not able to do the things for which they are created, on a daily basis.
Or, in other words: What is it that you are longing for?
If you find yourself in a workplace where you do not use your skills or talents, it can be quite painful and uncomfortable. Fortunately, life is a journey and not an isolated day. Find at least one small way to start again to conquer some of the joys you had when you were younger. Get lost in your favorite activity, lose track of time on a Saturday morning. Think well about what you are longing for and start doing it.
In order to find a successful path, you need to keep searching for it. There are opportunities awaiting us at every corner, we just need to recognize them. Looking within and discovering what you have to offer out there is the safest path you can take. We all have our own unique set of talents, but in order to share them with the rest of the world, we first need to find them. If you want to be successful, you should never underestimate your importance. To achieve true excellence you need to recognize your underlying talent and use your full potential. Your unique personality sets you apart from everyone else, and that is the biggest strength that you possess.