Your talents point to the unique product or service you are equipped to provide to the people you are uniquely positioned to serve.
Too many people struggle to identify their talents. They've lost focus on what they love doing, and where they excel, because the world conditions us to do what we think we should do in order to achieve or maintain a certain lifestyle, status, or metric of success.
As a result, we waste precious time trying to excel in areas we have little or no ability.
80% of people don't use their talents on a daily basis.
86% of people are disengaged from their work
$300B in lost productivity per year.
It is a waste of the world's most preciious resource: human potential.
And what's worse, according to Tom Rath in his book Strengths Finder 2.0, when you don't use your talents in your work, you are 6x less likely to be engaged in what you do; dread going to work; have more negative, than positive interactions with others; treat your customers poorly; complain constantly; you achieve less; you become less innovative or creative over time. You literally start to become a different (and probably rotten) person.
The reason so many of us feel frustrated, stressed, and depressed, or disillusioned is because we are living according to someone’s expectations of who we should be, instead of focusing on who we actually are. That could be parents, teachers, friends, or society as a whole.
But if you focus on pursuing the activities you've been uniquely designed to do, not only will you find freedom from those pressures, but you'll also find greater success, and significance.
Riders for Health: Andrea and Barry Coleman drew on their love of motorcycles to envision transportation as an integral part of the healthcare infrastructure, by supplying appropriate vehicles for different urban and rural needs where medications were previously unable to make it to their intended constituents.
Empwr Coat: Veronika combined her talent for design, and her experience being homeless, into a coat that transformed into a sleeping bag. This single innovation provided clothing, shelter, and jobs for the homeless in Detroit.
We’ve each been endowed with our own unique genius. Genius is a latin word that Romans used to reflet an inner spirit, holy and inviolable, which watches over us, guiding us to our calling. A writer writes with his genius; an artist paints with hers; everyone who creates operates from this sacramental center.
And the things you enjoy doing make work feel like play. You'll be energized by opportunities, and you'll welcome challenges. Your work won't feel tiring or time-consuming. It will feel invigorating and inspiring. In fact, it may feel effortless because of the ease and sense of joy that's evident when you do it. Psychology Mihaly describes this state as 'Flow'.
This state of 'flow' is where you find endless inspiration, and seem to not only come up with work that is distinguished and unique, but also do so in a way that excels far and beyond what anyone else is doing. This points to your personal advantage.
No talent is too trivial. People will be changed through you just by your being and doing what you are meant to be and do.
"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation, and go to the graves with their song still in them." - Henry David Thoreau