How to identify your talent?

It is a big Myth that everyone has a unique or raw talent. One must have heard about the book Talent is overrated by ‘Geoff Colvin’. It indeed is overrated and one needs to take note. A better phrase would be that ‘everyone has natural abilities‘. ‘Abilities‘ are not talent but God given skills like ‘running‘ , ‘thinking‘ etc.

Interests‘ and ‘Passions‘ definitely exist. These then lead to enough practice automatically as you love them. It is that simple ! Enough practice then makes you skilled. Athletics is a very good example of observing the ‘hidden Talent myth’. Have you ever wondered why cricketers keep on practicing one shot for days altogether? Practice just to perfect that art. Many a times due to prolonged practice and exposure, one would feel that this is my passion. This is true for ‘Rafael Nadal‘ as he mentions in his book RAFA – My Story‘. He has practiced enough as he had a strict dad when young, who ensured timely practice sessions. Tennis was definitely not the first love for Rafael. At this point, I remember ‘Lionel Messi’s‘ quote – ‘I start early and I stay late, day after day after day, year after year. It took me 17 years and 114 days to become an overnight success’. ‘LOVE‘ and ‘Inspiration‘ are the key words here.

I will try to further explore the steps, lessons and insights:

  1. Identify your interest/passion

Identifying your interest can be easy as well as difficult. Easy if you like to learn new skills and explore. It may be difficult if it is the opposite. I always say that, if you don’t give yourself enough options, then how can you be sure that this is the true interest or passion that you have. A lot has been left unexplored. Try to make a bucket list of your interests and touch base each at least once for some time. Like a couple of weeks to a month. Or better till you build a skill as learning often times seem difficult and boring. One has to have love for that pursuit, inorder to excel. You’ll know, this is it, if you still sustain with the same interest beyond the trial period. It is highly likely that many things are tried before you arrive at that one calling in life.

2. Explore and gain knowledge

In your free time, be like a ‘NOMAD’, exploring your interests on the internet and elsewhere. If ‘Finance‘ intrigues you then finish that difficult course. If ‘Writing‘ excites you then learn about it from every source you can. If one is unable to explore and is bored in a few hours or days, then you probably have had a temporary interest. Come back to it a couple of times and if you are till disinterested, then it is time to move on to the next item in the bucket list. The idea is to fail fast and probably many times.

3. Not practical at this point? explore new information and take action

Now, what if the shortlisted interest does not seem practical. In that case one should explore new information and try to start small. Showcase you passion and who knows, someone may offer you a dream option. If you know this is it, then don’t charge initially and try to establish credibility first. Else, one may charge on a cost basis too, as the focus here is to get feedback and trust.

4. Repeat if still not clear

One may have to drop out after step 3 also. Then we know what to do! Repeat the above process. Don’t get disheartened as this is a process that everyone goes through. But as long as you are trying, rest be assured a door will open. Know that this is a process and that confusions are good. The one who tells you that s/he doesn’t get confused, has probably not tried enough things. Forget about the world and focus on the process.

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