HOW TO DISCOVER & DEVELOP YOUR TALENT AND SKILLS

Building Skills
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YOU ARE TALENTED: HOW TO DISCOVER & DEVELOP YOUR TALENT AND SKILLS

We are all born with the propensity to achieve, succeed, and thrive in our endeavors. We have certain skills, talents and abilities that can be nurtured, shaped, formed, and encouraged. The human species has a vast number of these talents, skills and abilities, and it remains a wonder as to how some individuals reach the pinnacle of perfection with their skills and talents, and why others remain simply mediocre.

Certainly genetics, home environment, mentoring, and coaching all play a role in success. Observing excellent role models with robust skills, and being provided with superlative tutoring and direct instruction also plays a major role in later life.

Talent isn’t born, it is developed and harnessed. We live in the most exciting, technologically advanced and intelligent time in our modern history. We are given tools to grow and excel. Our limits are boundaries. Our borders non-existent. Today is a time for greatness.

Each of us has the opportunity, the determination, the drive and the talent to do more than we can ever imagine. What inspires you? Family, singing, writing, speaking, the arts…it doesn’t matter. All that matters is finding a talent and being the best you can be. Understanding what inspires and motivates is the key to finding talent.

Again, talent isn’t born. Deliberate practice is what separates the achievers from the pack. Deliberate practice requires that one identify certain sharply defined elements of performance that need to be improved, and then work intently on them.

The truth is that you have to work hard with pinpoint intention to polish your talents. The good news is that there are more opportunities than ever before to spit-shine your hidden talents and not let them die.

BUT FIRST, HAVE YOU DISCOVERED YOUR TALENT?

It is the mere act of pursuing something to the best of your ability every day that makes you unique. Your passion could be a joy factor for yourself alone, or it could bring a smile to those around you. So, if you have discovered something you are good at (or want to be good at), ask yourself – have you bottled it, or is it time to set it free?

There are several things you could do to discover your talent. Try the following:

Search your creative, artistic and personal abilities. Write down the things you can do or would like to do. This will help you recognize which abilities enhance which talents.

Think about what you love; what you have passion and enthusiasm for. What thrills your heart the most? What do you enjoy doing the most? What activities give you the utmost pleasure?

 Then, go on to what you are very good at. What are you exceptionally good at – particularly according to others who know you very well?

 Finally, combine the answers you get. When you mix what you enjoy doing the most, with what you are exceptionally good at, then you discover your talent.

HOW TO IDENTIFY YOUR ABILITIES

 They come naturally to you!

Like everyone else, you came into this world with natural abilities (eg talking, athletic abilities, drawing, singing, selling, imitating, making money, repairing things, making people do things they might not otherwise want to do,). You can do them almost instinctively. You often can add new twists and innovations that nobody has taught you. You do it consistently and with great ease. Even when you have to learn them, it is very easy for you to master the skills there. What are these things? What are you good at?

List at least 5, then based on your personal perception, rate your ability level in each on a scale of 1 – 10.

History matters!

You have done things in the past. You have a history. You’ve been in the primary, secondary school and so on. You have been in churches, and organizations. There are a lot of things that you have done and have been involved in in the past. In some you did well. In others you didn’t do so well. What things did you do in the past that you succeeded in easily?

List at least 5, then based on your personal perception, rate your success level in each on a scale of 1 – 10.

Ease of learning counts too!

When you were in School, particularly in Secondary School, there were certain subjects you learnt faster and easier than the rest. (eg. Languages, economics, Literature, Geography, Mathematics, ) You need to recall what these were. Regardless of whether or not you liked these subjects, and without flattering yourself, what are they?

List at least 5, then based on your personal perception, rate your ability level in each on a scale of 1 – 10.

Don’t forget the candid opinion of others! 

You need the candid opinion of others. Talents, gifts and natural abilities are always confirmed by others. This Section requires the input of three people that are very close to you and do not need to impress you.

Get three people that really know you and have observed you closely and over a long period and tell them that you are searching for the truth, not fishing for a compliment. Ask them to be brutally honest with you and that you will appreciate frankness far above flattery.

Tell each of them to list at least 5 things they think you do very well and rate your performance on a scale of 1-10.

FAN THE FLAME, DEVELOP YOUR TALENT

To fan into flame means to fully develop something to its maximum capacity. It is one thing to discover your talent, it is another thing to fully develop it. Until your talent is fully developed, you won’t become significantly distinguished in life. Here are 3 simple but effective ways to develop your talent:

#1. Feed Your Passion

Your passion is the life and energy of your talent.

When you feed it, your talent grows.

There are things you enjoy experiencing; things you enjoy watching, observing, listening to, smelling, and taking in in various ways. What are these things? Movies? Books? Sights and sounds? Interactions? Whatever they are, surround yourself with them. That’s how to feed your passion. Invest your resources here; it is one of the smartest ways to spend your money. This is an investment in yourself.

#2. Share Your Passion

When you consume your passion, you experience joy. 

When you share your passion, you experience double joy, or fulfillment.

Say you enjoy reading novels. The easiest way to share this passion, of course is with people of like passion; give the novel to others in your book club to read. But you can also share your pleasure with others who do not like reading novels: this is actually where your ability comes in – sharing the blessings of your passion with those who do not have the same passion as you.

For instance:

#1. You could tell the story yourself to someone else who may not be able to read that novel.

#2. You may decide to do something even more elaborate: dramatize the novel with a cast!

#3. You might opt to distill the essential lessons of the novel and share it with others in your own words via a class, an article, or twitter quote.

Essentially, join a passion group related to your passion. Here you interact with others of like passion. You discuss new sources and channels. You learn new and diverse things about your passion. Create and embrace opportunities that allow you to share the blessings of your passion with others. Set up personal passion-sharing projects to enhance sharing. Choose businesses, industries, and careers that enable the sharing of your passion.

#3. Sharpen Your Foremost Ability

Focus on increasing your capacity and improving your skills. 

As you sharpen it, your talent grows.

Sharpening the essential elements of that ability happens automatically as you use them to share your passion. However, you must deliberately work on it too through study and training. Actually, as you begin to share your passion with others using your dominant ability, you will notice serious skill deficiencies in that ability.

For instance, if you enjoy imaginations of beautiful realities and inspiring human experiences – you would want to share these imaginations – or dreams – with others. Now, say your foremost ability is writing, you would definitely need to build up your vocabulary and use of language.

This is where continuous education comes in. Go to school to get extra education if you can afford it. Read books. Attend seminars.

The development of your talent is too important to be left to chance. Invest time, energy, and money to fan your talent into raging flame that transforms your world.

FINALLY…

Set goals. Developing your talents means you’ve got to set goals. You want to get better at something. Make your goal realistic and specific. Imagine what you’re going to do, and when. Don’t say “I am going to learn Spanish” but say “I am going to follow a Spanish language course in September at the Open University”.

Challenge yourself. It’s most motivating setting a goal that is just above the level you’re sure you’ll reach. If you go out running, make it your goal to run a couple of hundred metres (but not too many metres) more than yesterday. If you’re writing a report, write a report about a topic you’ve never written about before, but not a totally unfamiliar topic. This way you’ll expand your limits, but in a realistic way.

What do you want to achieve?

Research shows that if people write down their goals (I want to start my own company within the next two years, I want to learn to play the piano better within a year, …), their success rate is higher. When you write down your goal, you connect yourself with this goal, and you’ll be more motivated.

Write down which talents you want to develop and which goals you want to achieve. Don’t forget to set a time period.

Then look at the obstacles, such as money, time, health problems, lack of energy, negative thoughts about yourself, lack of support or help, … What is the biggest obstacle, and what can you do about it? Talk to people with the same goals, and learn from them.

To your career success.