How to Find Your Talents

Posted: January 17, 2012 in career
Tags: , , , ,

I’ve always wanted to juggle. I have read books, studied YouTube videos, pored over websites, etc. All to no avail. Yet I have family members who have picked up three objects and successfully managed it with ease.

I guess I just don’t have the talent!

Talent. Talent Scouts. Talent Management.  The word turns up a lot. In my reading and musings over the years, I have learned of four key themes that every talent (skill, gift, aptitude, expertise, pick the synonym you wish) seems to have. Maybe they will help you find yours. Allow me to share them with you:

1. You have an instinctive, top of the mind ability to use it. World class athletes don’t have to think about how to stroke a tennis forehand, counselors have an innate ability to hear emotions, engineers naturally gather data for decision-making, etc. You need not think about how to do it. It just happens. It’s hard-wired into your psyche..

2. You have a desire, a yearning to use it, even if you have difficulty describing it! I am constantly amazed by clients who clearly have innate abilities that they practice daily in their work and play, yet are unable to recognize their significance in planning careers and life decisions.

3. When you are called upon to acquire knowledge in this area, it comes easily and quickly. I still recall my struggle with learning geography (“Why bother?” – I asked myself. “That’s what maps and Google Earth are for!”), yet I was able to soak up information on computer technology and New Testament Greek like a sponge!

4. As you look back on the practice of this “talent,” you experience true satisfaction. “Flow” is the term used by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (read my reviews of a number of his books on my Linkedin profile) to describe what he calls the “psychology of optimal experience.” When you are in Flow, you lose track of time and space. When finished, you feel that you have accomplished something worthwhile, something of true value. It was worth doing.

  • If your talent meets these four criteria, then what are you waiting for? Start to use it!
  • Or, if you’re having difficulty finding where your talents lie, we should talk!
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Comments
  1. Bonner Davis says:

    OK, here’s what’s funny. My son’s talent IS juggling. He won Palmyra’s Got Talent, juggles for birthday parties, did a summer with the Ren Faire as a street performer, and joined the Lancaster Juggling Club. He asked for juggling knives for Christmas! His big trick lately is jump-roping on a unicycle. His Myer’s Briggs is INFJ and his holland code is ARS. Juggling and acro-balancing tricks come natural, he definitely yearns to do it, it comes easy to him and he loves to perform. He’s 16 years-old, and we’re just starting to look at colleges. What a challenge! Any words of wisdom?

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