‘’What’s my talent? Hmmm….honestly I do not know. I do not think I have one, but I believe I was born to do more than what I am doing now’’.
Through the past years of my life, I had a lot of discussions with friends, colleagues, co-workers, family members…etc. Sometimes those discussions were funny and exciting and sometimes they were dull and full of drama. Sometimes they were constructive discussions and other times not.
However, through almost all of these discussions the sequence was always the same: a conversation takes place, and in the middle of the conversation there is usually the question and the sentence shown above at the beginning of this article, and finally the discussion ends with: ‘’How can I know what I am talented in?’’
Have you ever asked yourself this question before?
I can guarantee you that- in a way or another- almost every one of us asked himself this question at least once at a specific phase of his life. But let us try to look objectively at this question and try to find an answer.
Let me start first by asking you a question: If you go each day to work, school or university to do the same things and meet the same people and then come back home, how do you expect to know what you are talented in?
I believe that every one of us has a unique talent. Something that he or she can do better than the others. But how to discover this talent? There are a lot of ways to answer this question, but I will mainly focus on 2 points:
1-You will never know if you are a talented football player if you never tried to play football. You will also never know if you are a good dancer, speaker, cooker, designer, and writer…etc. until you try.
So the key here is to try something new. Break the pattern of your usual days and try doing new things or go to new places where you can meet new people and face new challenges. Only then you will discover your talent(s) and know where you belong. And when you find it, stick to it and do not let it go or close your eyes and try to ignore it.
But wait for a second, you can ask me: ‘’Mohamed, what do you mean by the sentence ‘do not let it go or close your eyes and try to ignore it?’ ’’ And I will tell you: ‘’the answer is simple.’’
Through my life journey, I met lots and lots of talented people, who knew- on purpose or by coincidence- that they are talented in something. But they never tried to pursue and build on their talents because of either their resistivity to change or because of uncertainty.
We as human beings like to invest effort in things or areas that we are certain about their results. So when you ask someone to change his normal repetitive ‘’life-work’’ pattern to pursue something which may or may not work, you can guess the answer.
So my advice to you is, as soon as you find a talent that you have, stick to it, and work on it to improve it directly. Do not say: ‘’I will wait for the perfect time’’ or ‘’I will do it later’’. Just build on it and use it right now.
I remember that before I started writing articles and before I created my blog, I never knew that I could write until one day I decided to do something new and join Toastmasters Organization to improve my speaking skills. So I started designing speeches and scripts for myself.
Step by step, people around me started telling me that I am talented in writing. So I used the opportunity directly, and I started building on this talent by educating myself, reading more and also writing more. And now each time I am writing, I am learning something new.
And the surprise that I found was that during this ‘’writing’’ journey, I did not only learn or improve my writing style, I also started learning and developing other skills such as marketing, branding and time management…etc., and I discovered different skills and talents in me that I never knew before.
As an example, I found that if I want to find the time to continue blogging and writing while doing my usual daily work, then I have to learn to be more efficient in managing my time so that I can find free time slots through my day to write. And after I started learning about time management, I discovered that I have to find the best ways to market my articles online, so I started learning- and still learning- how to market my articles to reach more audience and also to start creating a brand.
Now, and after having readers-base from over 25 countries, I look back and see that, if I did not decide to try something new and go to Toastmasters, I would have never figured out that I am good at writing and maybe I would have never improved or also learned other skills.
This is only a personal example. Imagine which amazing opportunities you can find and use in your own life to unlock your talents.
2-Let other people help you. Sometimes the people around us can see things in us that we cannot see in ourselves. So what’s the answer here? Go and ask the people around you about the things that they see in you or about the things that you do very well, and look at the big picture. If they told you that you are good in doing things with ‘’high level of accuracy & details’’, or in ‘’Speaking and Communication’’ for example, then find a work-related position or do a business which is related to this talent and you will flourish and succeed.
An easy way that I find useful and I advise people to use is to create an e-survey using ‘’survey monkey’’ or any other e-survey portal, and send it to the people who know you, and who would care about answering you honestly. You may include some questions such as:
A- Describe me in five words.
B- What are my strengths and talents from your point of view?
C- What are the things that you dislike about me? (This question is for self-awareness reasons only)
d- Based on your answers to the above three questions, which area in life or field of business do you think I can create value in or can be a perfect fit?
To ensure variety in answers, send it to some close people at your work, some of your friends and family members as well as others. The reason is, by choosing a variety of people who interacted with you in different life situations, you can get better accurate results.
However, please keep in mind one important thing. Even though knowing your talent is important and using it wisely can make you succeed, but, on the other hand, do not over-estimate its impact or under-estimate the power of other factors. If ‘’Talent’’ for example is packed up with the right ‘’Skills’’ and ‘’Passion’’, you can be unstoppable.
The real challenge in this world is that the majority of people are usually classified into one of the following categories:
1-Either they do not know their talent, and hence there are not using it, or they are not in their power place.
2- Or they are talented, and they are convinced that it’s enough for them to succeed, so they are not trying to work on their skills to improve them each day.
The smartness here is to understand that ‘’Talent’’, ‘’Skills’’ and ‘’Passion’’ continue each other and belong to the same equation and that without improving your skills and working with passion, your talent will not take you anywhere.
Work hard on yourself (not only on the job that you are doing), improve your knowledge and skills, learn something new each day even if something small. At the end, and when all of the little daily things that you learned compound together, they will make the big difference in your life and will separate you from the norm and the people around you.
Start immediately by identifying one thing new that you are going to start right NOW, and I promise you that you will not lose.
In the next article, we will speak about skills and passion, and how you can combine them with your talent to be unstoppable. Press here to check it.
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