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4 Effective Ways To Find Your True Talents

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Are you looking for the secret path to a successful life? Something you can find out there in the world – if you just keep searching for it. You see, most people make the mistake of looking outward for success opportunities.

However, the easiest and most rewarding path to success is looking within. Discovering what you have to offer to the world that nobody else can. Finding your own unique talents and sharing them in a meaningful way.

So here is a little run down on the importance of finding your true talents.

Why you need to find your talents and strengths

Most people never find their natural talents and strengths – either because they do not believe they have any or because they underestimate their importance. If you want to be successful, discovering your uniqueness is not a nice bonus – it’s a necessity. The following two examples show you why:

Your biggest room for growth lies within your talents

A common assumption in today’s society is that the key to success is fixing your weakness. People tend to think that working on what you are not good at is the fastest way to grow and develop. That’s far from the truth. Of course, you can get better at anything. Working on your weakness can help you go from bad to mediocre. But you will never be able to achieve true excellence without an underlying talent. As Markus Buckingham says: each person’s greatest room for growth is in the areas of his or her greatest strength.î So find these areas of talent and strength and capitalize on them. That way you can use your full potential.

Making use of your key differentiator

What sets you apart from everyone else is your unique personality with all the special talents and strengths that you possess. YOU are the biggest asset that you could ever have. The first step to embrace your uniqueness is being aware that you are special. You are like nobody else in this world. Nobody else has had the same experiences as you. No one has exactly the same characteristics and shares the same values. Nobody has learned all the various skills you learned. Discovering your talents and strengths means becoming more aware of who you really are. Because only when you know what makes you so unique ñ you can fully embrace and make use of it.

But what exactly is a talent?

A talent is simply a strong characteristic that you have. It’s something you naturally do, think, or feel and that can be used in a beneficial way. It is nothing you acquired in school or that was taught to you at university. A talent is just a natural pattern of thought, feeling, or behavior. Psychologists say that 90% of what you think every day is repetitive*. Meaning most of what you think today, you already thought yesterday, and 90% of these thoughts you also thought the day before … Not only are your thoughts the results of underlying patterns but also your behavior and feelings. Finding your talents is simply about discovering these most prominent patterns within you and then using it to your advantage.

Identifying your unique talents

To set yourself up for success and capitalize on the way you are, you need to identify your unique characteristics. This is a process that takes quite some time but that is definitely worth doing!

The following four ways can help you get started:

1. Find what makes you feel strong

Keep track of how you spend the next two days: What are you doing, feeling or thinking about daily? Write down everything that energizes you and makes you feel strong. It could be a particular physical activity such as meeting up and going dancing with a friend or a mental activity such as finding a solution to a difficult problem. Then when you found a few things you repeatedly do and love, dig deeper and see what part of that particular activity made you feel good.

So for example, one of my patterns is that I love learning and sharing my findings with you. That statement in itself is not quite true: I don’t like learning about everything. Give me books about personal development and I am occupied for hours feeling energized and in flow. Give me almost anything else and I am bored to hell. I like sharing what I learn but if you make me talk about it in front of a crowd, I will try to run and hide. However, sit down with me alone and I will happily talk with you for hours. These are distinct differences that are vital to know in order to make the most of my talent.

Look out for your own patterns: what are you always doing or thinking about? What can you just not help doing, thinking or feeling? Even if someone asks you not to? Often these are things that others can find quite annoying about you 😉

2. Discover what you spend your money on

Your core values are closely linked with what you spend your money and time on. Take note of what you spend your money on and look closer at what this can tell you about yourself.

For example, I spend my money on books, seminars and conferences. The types of books I buy show me what I am passionate about – namely personal development and entrepreneurship. But what’s behind it is my innate desire to learn and grow. That is a strong natural characteristic of mine, a talent that drives everything I do, how I think and how I spend my time.

If you like spending money on going out with friends, is it that you like bringing people together? Is it that you like getting attention and expressing yourself? Or maybe is it because you value deepening your pre-existing friendships? Why do you do what you do? What is behind it? The key is to keep digging deeper in order to get to the core essence of your talent patterns.

Most people, including myself in the past, make the terrible mistake of being too fast and not taking enough time to truly discover themselves. Identifying what makes you truly unique and what drives you is not a 1-minute exercise you can complete while brushing your teeth.

3. Asking others

Find out what others value most about you. What personal characteristics would describe you best? Ask your friends, partner and family members what they love most about your personality. This will not just be valuable for your self-confidence ñ it will also show you what you are likely to dismiss about yourself. You might be surprised by what you find out. Often, how you see yourself is very different to how others see you.

The problem with talents and strengths is that they are so normal to you that you tend to dismiss them. You are so used to them that you take them for granted and don’t realise that they exist and that they are your biggest asset.

4. Using personality tests

Another good way to discover your unique talents is using a personality test. One that I can recommend is the Clifton StrengthFinder which determines your top five dominant patterns. It gives you a detailed explanation of them and actionable advice about how to put them to use. The test has really opened my eyes and helped me understand my talents and myself a little better. You can buy the test as part of the book  Now, Discover Your Strengths or get it on its own.

However, don’t just use the test alone and do nothing with it. The result alone will have no impact on you or your strength development unless you use the answers as a starting point to get to know yourself better. The best would be going through the steps in the order described above. Start with self-analysis, then see if others confirm your view about yourself and lastly you can also see what personality tests reveal about you. From my experiences, this process will prove to be the most valuable one for finding your unique talents and strengths.

Let me know in the comments what you have done to identify your talents.

Do you still tend to focus on fixing your weakness or are you already developing your strengths?

*According to a research by Dr. Fred Luskin of Stanford University

Maxine runs the The Leader of Tomorrow, a personal blog that is dedicated to help you become more successful by making the most of yourself and mastering your mind. If you want to know how to use your full potential - visit her at www.theleaderoftomorrow.com for more great content.

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The 3 Most Important Things I Learned About Personal Growth

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When you look back on your life, what do you want to think about? Do you plan to reminisce on all of the good things that have happened and how they shaped who you are today? Or would you rather remember all of the bad decisions, challenging experiences, and mistakes made that hurt or wasted a portion of your life?

In my opinion, I think it is important to reflect on both. While it’s important to remember the hardships we’ve been through in our lives – without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. There are 3 very specific areas that I feel have helped me grow in a personal sense more than anything else in my life so far. 

These aren’t simple lessons in a book or a lecture that you can just absorb and apply to your life. These are things that I’ve learned through experience and reflection, and I’m still learning and growing today.

1. We determine how much we’re worth by what we think about ourselves, others, and life in general.

This might seem like a pretty obvious lesson in life but it’s actually one of the most important because we can determine our own worth by how we think about ourselves and the world around us. If you’re looking for success in any kind of business or social setting (dating), then I’ll tell you right now that it doesn’t matter if you have 10 billion dollars or not – people are still going to judge you based on your thoughts and beliefs alone.

What determines our value isn’t necessarily what we do with our lives (which is often based on luck) but whether or not we believe that ‘our work’ is worthy or not in some sort of grand scheme or universe. We may not always be able to control what happens in our lives, but we can always control how we value ourselves and others.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

2. You don’t have to change your habits or personality just because someone else doesn’t like it – their opinions are THEIRS alone.

This is another one of those lessons that people tend to pick up on a little bit late in life, but if anything that makes its importance even worse! Basically, there’s going to come a time when you’re going to meet someone who has certain expectations of you as a person…but these expectations might not be realistic due to their motivations and personal beliefs. For example, sometimes parents might expect you to be a lawyer or doctor because that’s what they believe is best for their child.

However, this isn’t the case for everyone and so maybe your passion lies in music or writing novels. In this example, if you were also pressured into becoming a doctor – then there would obviously be some kind of conflict going on within yourself as a person. You should never have to give up something that you want to do just because someone else doesn’t like it! The reason why we’re put onto this Earth is to make our own choices and go after our OWN dreams instead of letting others determine what we can and cannot do with our lives .

3. You can’t change your life until you accept that you need to make a change.

When I was younger, I thought that this lesson would be pretty obvious – but as I got older, it really made me appreciate the fact that there are always different ways of perceiving our lives. For example, if someone wants to become rich and famous one day – their mind might simply overshadow any other possibility in their head because they feel like this is what they NEED to do right now.

However, this isn’t always true within our own lives because we think about things too literally instead of having an open mind. If you want to achieve success in any kind of business or social setting (dating) then you should be willing to try out different things instead of staying in your comfort zone. If you want something, then it’s up to YOU to actually go after it – nobody else is going to give it to you!

The three lessons above are some of the main things I want to pass on to everyone because they’ve come at an important time in my life where I need to start thinking about others instead of only myself. It’s great if we can learn to love ourselves first before anything else, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect everyone around you even though they might be your friends and family members!

If you enjoyed this article on the 3 most important things I learned about personal growth, then please share it with your friends and family! Also, check out my other articles on success & motivation as well as life lessons that could help people who are struggling with their life right now on lifengoal.com. Thanks for reading!

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