Note. This post is an English-translated summary of a lecture video by Professor Qasim Ali Shah, who is a personal development trainer from Pakistan. I will link the video at the end of this article.
Here are 7 key things that can help you identify your talent:
1. The work that you were made to do is the work that releases you from time and space. You get so immersed in it that you forget about everything else going on around you. You become unaware of how much time has passed while you’re working on that thing.
2. Passion doesn’t get you tired, because it is what you were made for. It energizes you and makes you happy instead, even though your work was hard labour.
3. Your respect is tied to the work nature designed for you. We all have something to do that nature designed for us, and your work becomes the reason for getting respect.
4. You feel free from the need of getting any return back from the work you were born to do. You feel as if it is more than enough for you that you get to do something you like doing.
He gave an example of Micheal Angelo who was a famous sculptor. He would spend 15 days straight working on his sculptures. It didn’t matter if the soles of his shoes got worn out or if he was tired, he would keep working, being deeply enamoured by and immersed in his work.
5. Nature gives you an identity based on that work. For example, when you hear the name “Iqbal”, the word “poet” pops up. When you hear Newton, Edhi, etc. a specific identity pops up in your mind.
If an identity doesn’t pop up in your mind for someone, even though they are good at something or that person is doing important work, it means that work is not what they were born to do.
6. The work that you’re made for, you embrace its difficulties and challenges wholeheartedly. You know that your destination is further ahead still, so you don’t let challenges stop you.
For someone for whom that work is what they were born to do, the challenges only improve them and make them rise. And for someone for whom it is not, the challenges are there to stop them. They are meant for doing something else.
7. Your original talent won’t let you stay at rest. If you are good at something else, you’ll always have this voice inside yourself telling you: “hey what are you doing, wasting your time on this degree? this is not for you!”
Like a mischievous kid, this voice will keep coming back to bother you again and again. This is nature’s way of giving you signals. “This thing is for you, this thing isn’t”. Pay attention to those signs.
Pay attention to what kind of topics, people, and things fascinate you. Unwillingly, you will be attracted to those things. The people who fascinate you are the people who are like your own self.
Passion and talent make their own way. Just pay attention.
🪙My 2 cents
🪙 I would add that it is important to value the things that get you in a state of flow. It is possible that people around you are not attracted to those things or don’t value those things as much, which can make you feel discouraged and undermine yourself. So you can ask yourself, am I hesitating because of this? Be honest about why you are stuck studying for a particular degree or working in a certain job.
🪙 When I was watching the video, I realized that the reason why I could identify 1 or 2 things that would count as my talent was that I experimented a lot. I got involved in a lot of extra-curricular activities which gave me a chance to see which activities would make me enter a state of flow. In order to discover your natural talents, it can help a lot to expand your surface area of experimentation and experience, and then reflect on how those experiences made you feel.
Lovely lessons and thanks for sharing! I’ve always believed that our worth is in the work, though it’s sometimes hard to determine what it is we should do in life. I like what Steve Harvey has to say about this: “Your gift is something that gets you most results with the least effort.” Of course, I paraphrase, but that’s the gist of it. Anyway, thanks for this post!
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Thank you for taking your time to read and leaving this kind comment, Stuart! I don’t fully agree with the idea that our work is our worth because I believe that people have so many beautiful qualities outside of work (ex. kindness, humour, good manners), that make our world a better place- which shouldn’t be taken for granted. Thanks for sharing the quote, the idea of leveraging your strengths for the least resistance in work is very fascinating!
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