There are big “in-your-face” talents that sweep you along with them. And there are gentle, subtle talents that will add great meaning to your life once you uncover them.
What are your in-your-face talents?
I’ve been writing since I was the editor of my high-school newspaper. It was an interest and skill I’ve used in many forms in my life – copywriter for radio and television, a variety of organizational newsletters, ebooks, posts. Writing is how I sort myself out, how I figure out how to apply interesting concepts to my life. It’s how I share my ideas with others. It’s an ingrained part of me.
A major talent often shows up as a skill that’s so easy to use that it doesn’t even seem special. You may have no idea that not everyone can do it or that you are particularly good at it.
Music, art, mathematics, logistics, organizing, leadership, connecting with people, nurturing others, enthusiastic participation in whatever you do – these are some of the ways your major talent is recognizable.
What are your subtle talents?
It was always clear that I’m a good organizer. What took me years to figure out, though, was that I’m also a good organizer of ideas. I can see the overview, the complex, and explain it to others in easy-to-understand terms. That is an obvious talent with a subtle use.
My enthusiasm is a gift. It’s infectious. It’s also inspiriting, because it helps me get a lot done. Who would have thought of enthusiasm as a talent!
You may have a physical attribute that’s a talent
It turns out that people like my speaking voice, so I enjoy using it in videos and podcasts.
Take a moment to look for the subtle gifts and talents that you might find more ways to use.
Make your talent distinctive
Finding how to make my writing distinctive took some time and practice. Now I automatically think in the subhead style for a post. It’s how I organize my thoughts. It’s how I share my ideas. It’s my distinctive version of writing. And it simply evolved.
How many ways can you use your talents? Because I write like I talk, it’s easy to create narrative podcast scripts. My ability to organize ideas allows me to see connections and curate pieces of posts into the backbone of a new ebook. My enthusiasm keeps me exploring new platforms – like videos and audiobooks.
Look at your talents and find other venues where you can use them.
Explore your talents
When you find a little-used talent or desire, go exploring. I’m not a particularly good artist, but in my senior year in college I had space for some electives and I took two art courses – 5-minute sketching and composition. Though I wasn’t very good at composition, I got an A in the sketching class simply because I went from stick figures to a decent quick sketch.
I have taken other art courses along the line – Chinese brush painting being a favorite. There’s something magical about taking a blank space and filing it with your imagination, whether this is through drawing, or writing, or composing music.
Explore different media and see what new experiences, opportunities and insights appear.
Use your talent as a conduit to your soul
When you use your talent enough so it becomes second nature, the next step is to make room for the flow of your unconscious. I used to be surprised at what showed up as I typed. It felt like it was coming from outside myself. Now I know it comes from deep inside, from my thoughts, my interpretations, my soul.
Practice your talent until it becomes only the vehicle for your innermost expression.
What talent would you like to explore?
As long as it’s something creative, as long as I can explore what calls to me and interpret what I discover, the conduit doesn’t really matter. I’ve started to record an audiobook because I know I have the skill set for that. I’ve done lots of courses, but not with as many videos as I want to now. I’m a spiritual philosopher and I want to explore what that means to me and discover new ways to express it. I’m also a mapmaker because I explain to others what I figure out.
Look at what you’re already doing. Look at what talent you’d love to expand, and go exploring. Take some classes. Simply go practice whatever it is. Give thought to how you’ll bring that talent into your life. And just do it.