Identifying and Nurturing Your Talents

A good place to start is by gaining a clear idea of your skills and talents. Make a list of the things you are naturally good at, as well as the things you’ve become good at through repetitive effort. Write down the skills you use in your job, the things you learned in school, and the things you enjoy doing in your spare time.
When you’ve listed everything you can, look over your list and consider whether any of these skills and talents might be marketable. How can you use your talents to provide something of value to others?
Take your time with this exercise!
Seriously, don’t rush through it. You’re trying to get an idea of the work that would make you feel passionate and fulfilled – therefore it deserves your undivided attention.
This exercise is also important for another reason. Your dream is NOT just about you. It’s about all the lives you will touch when you do what you were meant to do on this planet. It took me a long time to understand that by holding myself back I was denying others something special I had to share with them. And I don’t mean that as a boast.
We are each special and unique, and we each have something to offer this world that no one else does. By denying our own talents, we deny others the gift of what we have to share.
So please, don’t skimp on this exercise. You owe it to yourself and others to be ruthlessly honest about your passion(s).
Once you have a clear list of your existing skills and talents, make a check mark next to the ones you use on a regular basis, whether in your work or personal time. Can any of those skills be enhanced or strengthened? Can you enroll in a continuing education course to expand on any of your skills? Make notes about possible opportunities to grow and develop what you already have.
(Note: if any of the skills on your list are not things you truly ENJOY doing, cross them off the list and do not consider them as career candidates. That doesn’t mean you’ll never use those skills, just that they won’t be your main focus. A good example might be bookkeeping or accounting skills that you use in your day job. You may be good with numbers but if working with them doesn’t thrill you and move you, you should simply consider it an additional tool that can help with your work.)
What’s left on your list? Look at the talents that were not checked as something you use frequently. Would you like to spend more time developing those talents? Again, if they don’t thrill you, cross them off the list. If they do interest you, consider ways to expand and develop them further.
Finally, make one more list: of things you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t yet. These will be things you can explore gradually and see if they have potential to be your passion.
Then, be sure to MAKE TIME to explore them! Check out courses and classes in your local area, or do a few internet searches for groups of likeminded people. Give your interests a chance, and one (or more) of them might blossom into a life-changing passion.

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