One of my good friends kept saying that she has no talent. I think this is because we mostly associate talents with some artistry such as singing, playing an instrument, or some creativity such as writing, drawing and painting.
What is a talent?
I was reading, Now, Discover your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton and I remember taking a photo of one page and sending to her (page 48). The page defines talent as ‘a recurring pattern of thought, feeling or behaviour that can be productively applied’. This means if you are inquisitive, competitive, responsible, persistent, these are talents. The reason I sent this page to my friend is because she is competitive, responsible and persistent and yet for the longest time she didn’t appreciate these traits since she didn’t perceive them as talent.
Are you competitive?
Competitiveness makes you push yourself harder in situations where most would shy off, especially if they don’t like competing like me. I am likely to get out of a competitive position because I am not really a competitive person. While this makes me less stressed about competitive situation, it also means that I shy away from opportunities sometimes.
Are you persistent?
Being persistent is also an awesome talent, something I have learned and been trying to practice especially after I read Grit by Angela Duckworth. I happen to be very good at walking away from situations if they are not favoring me, and while this favors me since my decisions are not influenced by the sunken cost fallacy, it also means that I have walked away from situations I should have persisted on maybe a little more.
Are you responsible?
Being responsible is also another important talent and every human who has it is lucky. Responsibility means you are able to make sane decisions without external influence. It also means one is able to hold onto a job, a career, a relationship or even keep their house in order. It means you are able to make a good living and not spend it all on meaningless stuff. Responsibility and discipline go hand in hand and we all know how discipline can be beneficial in a person’s life and career.
Before you say you don’t have a talent just because you can’t play piano or sing like Ed Sheeran, give yourself some credit. If you possess some of these ‘patterns of thought, feeling and behaviors that can be applied productively’ among others then don’t think so less of yourself. You’re an exceptional and talented human being!