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One of my best friends is a brilliant black and white photographer. When we got together for lunch recently, my photographer friend described the way she can glance at something and instantly see, in her mind’s eye, the scene as a b/w photo.
She just takes in the overall scene, “frames” the best possible pictures, then automatically selects the one that will produce the finest photograph.
It’s amazing to see her do this. It seems totally instantaneous and effortless. She just “sees it”.
Most photographers concentrate on the technical aspects of their art: the “f stop” setting, the light, the angle of the sun, and so on. While all of this is obviously important, my friend seems to just magically “know” without analyzing.
Another friend of mine down in California has an amazing musical ability.
He can hear a song once, and sit down with his guitar and play it perfectly.
Yet another woman I know is a truly remarkable gardener—she created a virtual paradise in what was once a chicken yard. Her friends are now hiring her to design their ponds and gardens!
These people all say the same thing about their remarkable talents: “It’s so easy, it just seems normal.”
It seems to me that everyone has a natural talent. But many of us share a common mistake: It’s so easy; we tend to undervalue it, assuming anyone could do what we do so well.
We each have totally unique natural talents—just as we have totally unique fingerprints. Your gift may be training dogs (I couldn’t do this if you offered me a cool million). Or maybe you have developed a hot bookkeeping method, are gifted at reading stories to children, or are an outrageous organizer or breeder of rare orchids.
Your special talent might tend toward sports, writing, art, pottery, communication—the list is endless. But my bet is—you don’t recognize your own special talent. It’s so “easy”, you assume anyone could do it!
And since our natural talents are so easy to “put down”, often that’s just what happens in early life. The artistic child is told to “forget drawing” and study something “serious”.
Or a young avid reader on his way to becoming a gifted writer is told to “get his head out of the books” and go play baseball with the other boys.
While expanding ourselves by learning new subjects is always a good thing to do—turning away from our native talents to seek “a better balance” isn’t necessarily the smartest or most rewarding thing to do.
Imagine if Beethoven, Albert Einstein, or Bob Hope or Katherine Hepburn had turned away from their natural talents to “go play with the other kids”.
Instead these remarkable super achievers devoted their lives to developing their natural talents. As a result, they excelled.
Throughout history the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, artists, writers, entertainers, inventors, scientists, athletes and entertainers have been those that pursued their natural talents.
Discover your natural talents
First, note what you do that seems especially easy and natural. This is an indication of a special talent, or the aptitude for developing such a talent.
Also begin to notice what you’re doing when time just seems to “fly by”. Such “time distortion” often occurs when we are engaged in an activity we have a passionate and natural love for.
Finally, notice the activities you do just for the sensation of fulfillment and satisfaction.
These activities are clues to your unique natural talent. Your greatest personal potential lies here.
Here’s a Possible Strategy
Imagine if you could spend your time just doing something that’s easy, makes time fly, and makes you feel happy and fulfilled.
Does that sound like a more satisfying life than struggling to become an accountant if you’re naturally an artist? Or struggling to become an artist if you’re really a natural mechanical engineer or inventor?
Why not consider refocusing your life—and get the immense satisfaction that comes with being superb at something you love?
Even if this requires sometimes settling for “less money” or “less prestige”—having a happy, fulfilling life might be an even greater reward.
And who knows—your true passion might take you soaring to the top doing something you truly and naturally love.
Your life is your most amazing creation. Are you totally satisfied?
This is a cross-post from Talent Develop Resources.
Dr Jill Ammon-Wexler is a doctor of psychology, best-selling author, and pioneer brain/mind researcher. She was among the first to introduce mind power training to the corporate world. [From her http://selfgrowth.com profile].
Douglas Eby, M/A Psychology, is a writer, researcher and online publisher on the psychology of creative expression and personal growth. He is author of the Talent Development Resources series of sites.
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