What are your talents?

Talents are a wonderful and often widely overlooked. Most think that talent only applies to playing a musical instrument, art or sports. Talent extends way beyond that to where talents can really apply to anything. There are as many talents as people and each of us has at least one. Sadly, most of us don’t recognize or cultivate our talents well enough. We often day dream about someone else’s talents or are spending too much time consuming mindless entertainment.

How do we discover these talents? This is both easy and difficult. It starts by doing, we have to act and be striving to do something in order for our talents to manifest. They don’t just magically appear when we want to know what they are. We have to experiment and become aware. Luckily, it is also easy to ask people what they think your talents are. Remember, talent extends to being a good listener, understanding and applying information, being able to remember faces and names, making people feel welcomed, being able to work hard and much more. Searching out our talents takes diligent effort and awareness.

Our talents are often not cultivated and shared as much because we are constantly wishing we had someone else talents or comparing ourselves to everyone else. “I can’t sing as well [insert better singer]” we say. “I’m not as smart as [insert everyone smarter than you]” we think. However, just because someone does something better than you doesn’t mean you your talent is any less significant. Often, the talents we share and compare are of different natures. Just think modern singers. It would be weird to compare Lady Ga Ga and David Draiman. First of all, one is a man and the other a woman. Secondly, they sing two completely different genres of music. All of talents are like the two singers. Their voices are different and therefore sound differently. Instead of constantly comparing ourselves with others, we need to see the value in our talents and how they compare with ourselves. Stop trying to be a pop singer, when you are clearly a talented metal vocalist.

When I wrestled in high school, there was a saying that would written on shirts, be hung in gyms and told to us all the time: hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard. Talent is important, but it is only a fraction of the work. If we don’t take the time to practice using our talents and then actually using them they will diminish and atrophy. If you have ever worked out hard consistently and a took a break, you’ll know what I am talking about. You come back and your stiff, you are not as strong as you were before. Our gifts are the same way. If we just expect our talents to stay with us while we waste our time on other things, you will be sadly disappointed when you need to use your talent and it is no longer there.

Gary Vaynerchuck, marketing and branding expert, has said that the most important thing while building your personal brand, or in this case ourselves and our talents, is self-awareness. On one occasion, he has said “figure out who you are, don’t apologize for who you are and then become greater at what you naturally are, at what you are.” In a sense, we need to be aware of our gifts and improve upon them. Why? Because just as much as our talents our gifts to you, you are a gift to the world.


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