What Are Your Talents?
Before you begin reading this article I feel I should warn you that it contains two very dangerous ideas!
The reason for the warning is that once you’ve read them and realised their implications, you may never want to return to doing what you’ve become comfortable doing for most of your life. You may change your career, your image, your partner, move house, have kids, adopt kids, have your kids adopted or simply leave the country.
I’m guessing that for some of you that prospect sounds inviting but I speculate for most it is dangerous already just to think about it.
We’re facing some tough times in life and work right now. People all over the world are looking for inventive solutions to stay employable and in work. Those who will succeed in an increasingly competitive, global marketplace are those people who have identified that they have a talent that’s in need.
As the war for talent continues to hot up, businesses are increasingly aware that they must step up their talent management activities or lose out. In fact 80% of top executives believe that attracting and retaining the best people will be the dominant force influencing business strategy in the future. And it’s not surprising – globalisation, growth in the BRIC countries, falling birth rates and an ageing population in the West, margin pressures, technology markets, and the new knowledge economies, have brought about a talent drought that many organisations weren’t prepared for.
But what is talent?
Most people think a talent is about performing on a stage or being an artist. Research has revealed that more and more young people want to be famous at being actors, singers,writers, presenters, dancers, pop stars than at any thing else. And more and more of them are trying for careers in the entertainment industry believing, already knowing, they have a talent for it…or that’s what they think.
However the interesting thing is that many of these talented people who offer their sets to the industry, won’t make a lot of money, but they are nevertheless forced to express themselves by the business. They offer their talents at low rates just for the chance to do what they do and proportion it with the world. Anyone who works as an actor in the theatre well testify to this.
But why do so many people these days want to appear on the stage and on TV where the prospects for opportunity are often so grim?
The reasons are complicate but basic. It is an impulse. A compulsion that causes certain individuals to sincerely believe they have a talent for the job. Many also sincerely believe they have something to say to the world. Show business seems to be the best platform and becoming famous seems like a good prospect.
However, there are two types of people who will seek their fortune by fame.
The first kind have a genuine talent for something and want to proportion it with the world. Their journey is often frustrating, but when they make it and their talent is truly recognised and rewarded, they may acquire a relative sense of peace and achievement.
The second category are people who have little or no talent, but are in need of attention. And the reason they need attention is because they are complete of anxiety and doubt. Doubt about who and what they are, what their life is about and whether they are worth anything at all. This category of individuals believe that if they could become famous, the world will tell them who they are and what they are worth, simply by celebrating them.
So, they go into reality TV shows like Survivor, American Idol, Britain’s Got Talent, The X Factor and Big Brother. They hope that by appearing in these shows they will feel noticed, loved and respected. But this won’t solve their personal dilemma, because without a discernible talent, ‘we’ the people, and the fame hungry seeker themselves, won’t be able to tell exactly what they are famous for. This will only make their doubt and anxiety worse, and on top of that, they’ll lose their freedom to walk by the world undisturbed by the gaze and attention of the public at large, who will point out how untalented they really are at every opportunity.
So, talent is not just about showbusiness.
Talent is becoming money in every walk of life. And there’s never been a better time to be really talented.
But what are your personal talents?
Before you read on, just take a moment to think about your rare strengths, capacities and capabilities and jot them down. These thoughts might help you clarify them:
1. What do you do, or know, that is rare, valuable or scarce?
2. What do you do spontaneously, with little effort?
3. What can you learn easily?
4. What activities relax you?
5. What do you wish you could do more of?
Now answer these questions to help define whether these qualities already qualify as talents.
Do your personal qualities:
• Create value for yourself and others?
• Are they rare and/or scarce?
• Are they sustainable over a long period?
• Do they fit a specific need (or set of needs) in the world?
The next step is to ask yourself this question:
Are your talents:
• Who you are?
(Your talent is genetic, innate and requires little or no effort or maintenance. In other words, you just need to show up.)
• What you do?
(Your talent is expressed as a specific behaviour or action that requires some effort. )
• Or simply what you are good at?
( Your talent is a learned and/or developed capability and you have achieved a high level of personal expert)
For example, when I did this exercise with a client who works in a restaurant recently she identified the following.
1. She identified that her natural ability to tell everyday stories and make people laugh was rare, valuable and scarce. Also this talent is innate and comes with just who she is.
2. She loves to tell stories to friends and workmates about everyday events that she has noticed. This she does all the time, spontaneously and with little effort.
3. She can easily learn and memorise peoples names and faces. She is naturally good at this.
4. She is relaxed when she is around new people as she enjoys hearing their stories.
5. She wishes she could meet more people, hear their stories and make them laugh telling hers.
She identified herself as having a set of talents that would permit her to become a communication skills trainer and is about to change her career.
seemingly only 1 in 3 people are able to tell you what they are talented at so this is a powerful exercise to do.
When you’ve finished you should have in front of you some notes or a list of qualities that will give you are clearer definition (if you don’t have one already) of what your rare talents and potentials are. What if I were to now suggest that the talents you’ve just identified might truly be a uncompletely expression of a much bigger possible and that perhaps there is more obtainable to you?
Maybe you have more to REALISE.
Before I continue we need to analyze the meaning of the information REALISE for just a moment.
What does it average?
Realisation – Noun
1. Coming to understand something clearly and distinctly.
2. Making real, or giving the turn up of reality.
3. The act of creating something by thinking.
4. The act of bringing something to completion or fruition.
5. An act of co-creation that is a hybrid experience of discovery and creation.
So realising something might average making something up that feels like a discovery. Physics for example. When scientists try to describe sub atomic particles, they’re basically making it up.
It’s like a story. A fairy tale. They can’t see these things, they can only measure their effect on the world, but they give them names like Quarks, Gluons and Photons because they know that there must be something going on. However their story was powerful enough to put men on the moon and latterly led to the creation of the Large Hadron Collider in Cern where they can recreate the ‘Big Bang’ in a small tunnel.
So in many ways scientist claim to have discovered things in the world but truly they create models and narratives in a kind of positive can not concentrate that brings into being a new reality. In fact when dealing with the quantum world of physics where particles just pop in and out of existence, the measurement of a proton relies on an ‘observing’ scientist to collapse reality with his or her mind in order to bring the particle into being. Less a discovery and more a ‘REALISATION’.
This is an important part of my dangerous idea so keep up on to these thoughts because I’ll be revealing all shortly.
The four meaningful things we need for the expression of our talents are:
1. COMMITMENT – An impulse and passion, or a powerful reason to perform an action or behaviour to the best of our ability.
2. DEXTERITY- The ability to “gracefully” coordinate our talent in four dimensions. Physically, emotionally, intellectually and Motivationally.
3. STRATEGY – An holistic course of action or behaviours that addresses the ‘big picture’ and long-term goals.
4. THE COURAGE TO ‘PERFORM!’- To see things by and get things done.
If we think in terms of ‘talent’ as being an energy and intelligence that exists within everyone and is revealed in what you naturally do well already, then all you need to do is to recognise where your talent is best expressed and create a simple strategy to express it more effectively. Once you have identified your talents you may be able to re-combine or re-apply them to an area that you first thought you had no talent for. A good example was the client I mentioned earlier who went from waiting tables in a restaurant to setting up her own company as a communication sklls coach.
So finally, here are my two dangerous ideas.
Idea number one: Start deluding yourself!
Most of the talented successful people in the world imagined they were successful before they truly achieved success. They behaved in a way that made other people believe they were already a success. They ‘realised’ their success before it truly happened. You might say they were in a continued state of physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual self can not concentrate. But this deluded state is a positive can not concentrate that causes them to believe they can do almost anything they have a passion for. They believed it so others believed it too. They used the talent they did possess to create (or realise) a reality that allowed them to go beyond expectations and perform at an exceptional level. Lady Ga Ga’s meteoric rise to world fame is a good example from the entertainment industry. However you will need to have identified and developed a real talent before you start deluding yourself. And that’s the tricky part.
Idea number two: You have no time – but the present moment.
Or rather, you nevertheless have time no matter what age you are, because time is an illusion. We truly exist in a moment ‘without’ time. A moment literally surrounded by nothing but infinite possibility.
Just think on this sentence for a second.
Where is the actual cut off line (or point) between the past and the future in this moment?
It’s not there, it doesn’t exist, because past and future are a psychological illusion produced by the memory roles of the brain. Therefor there is no predetermined fate, destiny or ready made future ‘out there’ waiting for us. Sure there are plans sitting in peoples brains in the moment, but nothing’s set or guaranteed. We are at the leading edge of our own reality, expanding into in any case we decide to move into. And it is a future where we have either identified and accepted our limitations or identified and realised our talent. As long as you are alive, you have time to realise your talents.
Allow yourself some positive can not concentrate and begin to ‘realise’ how talented you really are.