Discover Your Hidden Natural Talent
9 mins read
Everyone has talent. What’s rare is the courage to follow it to the dark places where it leads.”
― Erica Jong
M ost people will never find their natural talents and strengths – either because they do not believe they have any or because they underestimate their importance.
If you want to be successful, discovering your uniqueness is not a nice bonus – it’s a necessity.
A talent is a strong characteristic that you have. It’s something you naturally do, think, or feel and that can be used in a beneficial way. It is nothing you acquired in school or that was taught to you at university. A talent is just a natural pattern of thought, feeling, or behavior that makes you unique and above average if put to best use.
Until you unearth and put your natural given talent to effective use, you will never be truly be fulfilled even in success. This may sound brash and insensitive, but there lie in everyone, a truly unique and innate skill, that is way above average and holds the key to unlock success in whatever endeavor we venture into as long as that business idea or initiative or hubbies are woven around that unique skill.
Most people make the mistake of looking outward for success opportunities when the easiest and most rewarding path to success is to look within. Many young people mistaken their adeptness at some learned skill as their gateway to success.
While they may make success out of their learned skills, they may never be truly fulfilled.
Michele Wickham in her book “How to earn a living doing what you love and loving what you do” describes success in the words below;
“Typically, how successful you are is measured broadly by factors such as, how much money you make, your level in an organization, or even your level of expertise in an area. There is however a comparative element to success and so relying continuously on external measure of success has the ability to impact negatively on your happiness because it prompts comparison, judgement and stress”
Let’s start with Larry and Hersch Wilson’s description of fulfilment in their book Play to Win. Choosing Growth Over Fear in Work and Life:
“Fulfilment is the deeply felt sense that your life is full, whole, and complete – That you have expanded to “fill up” your potential. Fulfilment is knowing that, if you died tomorrow, your life would have meant something, that it was going in the right direction, and you were making a difference.”
No matter how successful you become, you will soon discover that if you are not fulfilled (having the feelings of genuine joy, happiness and emotional security), you will not be truly content. There are no external benchmark for which to measure fulfilment as it depends on the individual and their level of contentment. In essence, it differs from one individual to the other.
The obvious truth however is that, the moment you start to put your talent to use, you will discover the ease with which you get things done and the attraction to success factors it brings your way. You will earn good money, find joy and happiness while you also enjoy putting the skills to meaningful use with little effort.
Some people have used their skills in negative ways and yet made great success in it. The choice of how to put your talent to use remains ultimately with the individual. Our stars lie within!
Now here is where the challenge is;
Finding your natural talents can be quite a difficult task for many people. This is because you may often be blinded to the things that you are best at, fueled by your complex perception about yourself, making it quite difficult to identify your talents.
For many people, they may never discover that innate ability, aptitude, or faculty (an above average ability)that confers on them an advantage through life, while for others, they may find this diamond in a ruff much later in life.
A good many people became successful with very little money and great skill. Their ability to recognize what unique skills and talents they possessed helped them to overcome barriers and become a success.
But find we must, this hidden skill, and early in life too, especially when there is good and youthful energy to push this through. If you are young and talented, it’s like you have wings says Haruki Murakami, a renowned author.
The big question then remains; “How do you find this hidden treasure? How do you embrace and hone in on your natural talents?”
Roy T Bennet, in his book- The Light in the heart, puts it succinctly when he describes talent as unique;
“You are unique. You have different talents and abilities. You don’t have to always follow in the footsteps of others. And most important, you should always remind yourself that you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing and have a responsibility to develop the talents you have been given.”
The following steps will help you reflect on yourself and direct you towards discerning your talent.
Look back to your past – What thrilled you as a child?
When you were much younger, full of exuberance, carefree and innocent, there were certain things that you enjoyed doing and derived great pleasure in being a part of. Ask yourself what was your joyous moment in primary school? What made those moments enjoyable?
Which activity held you in captivity that you couldn’t wait to participate or join in? How competitive were you? What activity brought the best out of you while you were at it?
Were you good at running, writing, speaking, telling jokes, bringing friends together, artwork, mathematics, playing a musical instrument, sports etc? You must have found joy in something.
Think back, explore your childhood memories. What do you find?
Pause. Please think for a moment. Reflect!
Write some of these things down, it could help with clarity. If for instance, you realized that you were good at tendering to animals and that you had a natural affinity for caring for animals when you were young and that it came to you so natural and effortless, then you are already on to something.
What do you do?
Let’s say you intend to weave a business idea, hubby or initiative around this unique ability from your childhood, you will consider starting an NGO perhaps or studying veterinary medicine to hone the skill, or perhaps studying an entirely different course or science and applying the skill to your natural talent. Studying architecture could mean, designing unique sort of kennels for dogs or cats –that could be an instant hit or designing a natural habitat and resort for endangered animals in your local district. You could also be a pet toy maker, using the creative skills learnt at the university to give pets an exciting time alone.
You may also have studied English major at the university. Use the skills learnt in higher institution to create a blog for animals for instance.
In addition, you can be a pet trainer, pet photographer, pet day care owner and a lot more of all kinds of ideas. The trick is getting to use your unique ability in ways that are enjoyable and yet make good money while at it. Once you get into the business (no matter how weird it sounds) you will soon discover that there is a market for it.
God has not put a talent in you to lay to waste. Stay woke!
How whatever business you weave around your talent grows organically, will amaze you once you start it. But start first!
What do you enjoy doing so easily– that you lose track of time?
If the first point didn’t help much, perhaps because you have faint memories of your childhood or you had a really difficult childhood, that you would rather want to remain in the dark doldrums of your memory, that’s fine. Then this next step may unlock the hidden talent in you.
You need to think deeply about tasks that you enjoy doing. Tasks that when you are at it, time flies so fast you would hate to stop. Let me throw a few of these skills out there;
- Public Speaking
- Networking (person to person)
- Critical Thinking
- Decision Making
- Jokes / Humor
- Learning and speaking foreign Language
- Teaching / Training
- Negotiating Skills
- Planning skills
- Time Management
- Ability to spot new Trends
- Story Telling
- Ability to make Friends
- Communication Skills
- Problem Solving
- Social Networking
- Conflict Resolution
The list is not exhaustive, whichever activity you find pleasure in doing, there is a fair chance that you have a natural gift for these sorts of things and may want to look critically at your input in these activities. Which task gets your juices running? Which task gets you so excited, you devote less effort and yet get the job done? Which task do you do far better than your colleagues and yet feel you didn’t even put in an effort? Which task gave you the most satisfaction, so much that when you are done, you spend so much time gloating over it and reviewing the task again and again!
Don’t restrict your thoughts – reflect deeply on yourself. Write it down if you must. Be brutally honest with yourself. When you find this task, carefully weave a business idea, initiative, and plan around it. Please refer to the latter part of the first step on how to get a business started around your talent.
Ask those who are close to you – who know you quite well
What if you have tried both of the steps above and you can’t seem to get clarity on what talent you truly have?
That isn’t much of a problem, look for someone whom you know so well. Someone who has a fairly good knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses. Get that person to be honest with you, ask them what your talents are.
Your parents may be a first call for these sort of questions as they have watched you grow into a fine young lady/man, they have seen you at your physical and emotional best, and they can tell what you enjoy doing and how much time and effort you put into it.
Ask that childhood friend, your siblings, your longtime neighbor, teachers at elementary school or secondary school, close buddies and colleagues at work and people who know you well enough to be objective and who can tell you what you are/were good at. They can see things about you that even you have the faintest clue.
Be objective and be prepared to discover yourself.
Take a personality Test
If all else has failed, then, another good way to discover your unique talents is using a personality test.
There are tons of personality test online, type in the keywords “online personality test” in google and find out more about yourself.
It will give you a detailed explanation about your personality along with actionable advice about how to put them to use. These tests can be really helpful, so give them a shot.
I have taken a few of them myself and now that I have written about it, I am going to take yet another one to affirm my suspicion that writing may be a talent for me….lol
I have thoroughly enjoyed writing this piece and I hope I didn’t bore the hell out of you. If you found this useful, please share with other young people who are craving to find something they would love to do, something that could fill a gaping hole, a void and make them truly fulfilled while making good money at it.
PS – In the next couple of months, I will be starting a mentorship program with the sole objective of joining young people in their journey through life. Watch this space.
I am dedicating this write up to someone who desperately wanted to know which talent would create a breakthrough in her life. I hope this helped.