Wednesday, December 22, 2010

How Do I Know Something is My Talent?

In their research, Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton found that every person has at least one talent – something which the person can do better that the next 10,000 persons. It could be singing, dancing, public speaking, painting, writing, running fast, running long, jumping, dribbling a football, and so on.

Our talent is something which if we focus and improve upon, would make us better than the next 100,000 persons.

How do I know that something is my talent?

We can tease them out with these two sets of questions.

Set one, is like brainstorming – we get as many possible talents (the suspects) as we can by asking ourselves these questions.
  • What do I love to do?
  • What do I do happily without been asked?
  • What do people consistently tell me about what I am good at? Especially, if they are different people and better still if they don’t know each other.
  • “What makes me special?” Ask this question of people whom you trust who can and would give you an accurate, honest answer.
  • What activity do I like to read, talk and/or write about?
  • What is easy and effortless for me that most other people find hard to do as well as me?
  • Think back to your childhood for those proudest moments and accomplishments for clues. What were you doing?
  • Think back to your childhood – what were you doing when you were happiest?
  • What activities make me lose track of time and miss my meals?
Set two, narrows down the numerous suspects to the two or three talents which you could focus on and develop to the level of genius.

This list of questions is adapted from Martin Seligman’s work on strengths.

  • What do you feel when you are using this talent?
  • Do you feel a sense of ownership and authenticity, that “This is the real me”?
  • Do you feel excited when displaying this talent? Even if, you are displaying it for the first time.
  • Do you improve and learn fast as you develop this talent?
  • Do you continuously yearn for new ways to use this talent?
  • Do you continuously learn new ways to use this talent?
  • Do you feel a sense of inevitability in using this talent? That you will do well and triumph, no matter what difficulty?
  • Do you feel that the more you use this talent the more energised you get, instead of feeling exhausted and drained from the exertion?
  • Do you continuously create and pursue personal projects that revolve around this talent?
  • Do you feel joy, enthusiasm and even ecstasy when using this talent?
The more you can say yes to most of these questions, the clearer you are about your talent.

Congratulations! You have found your voice, and now by all means SING!

1 comment:

  1. Yay!! i have found my talent!! and that is to bake! :D Baking gives me energy and I can start baking at any time of the day without me having to plan out when and what to bake! I am often inspired to bake and am constantly thinking about what to bake next! I love baking because I love the look of those who eat my baked goods! ^^

    this post is so real and true! thanks for sharing!