How to discover your talent
Your talent is your natural or special gift. It is your innate ability. You were born with it. You did nothing to acquire it. It comes naturally to you. It is your area of gifting. If you were a car, your talent would be part of your specifications – part of what makes you unique. You were born with a talent for a purpose. Your talent is a good indicator of your purpose on earth. It may not define your purpose, but it points you in the direction of your purpose.
Skill is different from talent. Skill is something you learn. Every skill is learnable. You can learn to be a pilot, train driver, teacher etc but functioning there may not come naturally to you. You may not enjoy it, because it is not part of you.
How to discover your talent
There are many ways of discovering your talent. Your parents play a key role in discovering your talent. In ancient Israel, when a child is born, the parents take the child to a prophet or seer to inquire from God what the child came to the world to do. With this knowledge, they grown the child along this line, observing the child, his or her talents and encouraging the child to grow along that line. Today, we raise children using one template, sending them through an educational system that produces employees.
So based on what your parents observed about you when you were young, you can know what you are good at. Based on compliments you received from your parents, uncles, aunties, friends, teachers or authority figures in your life, you may be able to know what you are good at. It could be singing, painting, cracking jokes, public speaking, teaching etc. If you do not already know what you are good at, a starting point would be to talk a walk back down memory lane, to revisit times you took part in certain activities your enjoyed and received compliments.
If you come up blank, another way would be to ask trusted friends to tell you what they think you are good at, things you come alive when you are doing it.
The best way to discover your talent is self discovery through self awareness. Getting feedback from people you trust is very valuable but the danger is that you may walk away with a mistaken identity. Parents sometimes want to make their children in their own image, hence they may give their children feedback based on desired outcomes. For example, if your Dad wants you to be a doctor, he may say you are good with handling sick people so as to encourage you to tow his line. When you know yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, you can validate or reject the feedback you are getting. When you know how to discover your talent, you don’t need to depend on others opinion of you.
Yourself awareness grows with your maturity. One key way to grow as a person is through continuous education through reading. As you continue to read, especially in the area of personal development, you will find things that resonate with your soul and begin to understand yourself better. You start to discover what you like, what you love doing and what you really want do with your life. That gives you a sense of direction.
What you love doing is a good indicator of where your talents lie. There is nothing mysterious about discovering your talent. If you love writing, you are a writer. If you love singing, you are a singer. If you love teaching, you are a teacher etc. As children, we loved to daydream before adults shut down that dream factory. If you remember what you used to day dream about, that may hold a clue to your future, and within it, your talents.
We are all multi-talented. At the beginning, you may only be aware of one talent, but as you make good use of the one you have, you begin to become aware of the others.
In the next post, I will address what to do with your talent after you have discovered it.
He also writes for Punch AM Business, Leadership & Lifestyle and Today’s Lifeline magazines.