The Talent Within You (Part II)

Written by  Peter Weddle
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Why bother? Because talent is what enables us to achieve one of our most important rights as Americans. Talent is not a skill or competency. Talent is the capacity for excellence. More than any other factor, it is the attribute which empowers us to do our best work on-the-job. And doing our best work increases not only our paycheck but our sense of satisfaction as well. It is the way we make real the pursuit of Happiness.

The best way to find your talent is to engage in quiet self-exploration. You have to turn off your cell phone, your PC or tablet and the TV. You have to give yourself the gift of uninterrupted contemplation. dissertation christoph konrad What must you think about? What you love to do and do best. Talent is found at the intersection of passion and practicality, so you are searching for an activity at which you excel and from which you derive genuine fulfillment. It is the crystalline essence of what makes you an extraordinarily capable person.

here Finding the Intersection

To locate the intersection of your passion and practicality – to pinpoint your talent – you must descale the misperceptions that have covered over your sense of who you are and what you can do. You have to set aside everything your experience has told you about your capabilities and limitations and adopt a new perspective – one that is uniquely yours.

follow url To gain that perspective, you will “look” into yourself from three different vantage points:

  • First, you will search for what most engages you – the one activity that naturally fascinates and challenges you;
  • Next, you will examine what is most relevant to you – the one activity that naturally seems worthwhile and important to you;
  • And last, you will find what matters most to you – the one activity you would naturally choose to undertake if you could. Those three aspects – engagement, relevance and choice – are the cardinal directions of Happiness at work. They are also the azimuths of your talent. Only they can point you to your inherent capacity for excellence.

Application Letter Cover Letter How do you follow their lead? Perform the following exercises.

  • To discover what engages you, recall your best memories. Think back to your childhood and look for that activity you seemed to most enjoy doing over and over again. If it was setting up a lemonade stand, for example, what seemed to be the most fun: preparing the lemonade, setting up your stand, talking to your customers, or counting your money? What aspects of this "best memory" still bring a smile to your face even today?
  • To discover what is relevant to you, write your own tombstone. Rather than being locked into your life’s current course, however, take a Scroogian do-over. Ask yourself what you would do differently to create a legacy that would make you proud. Which decisions would you change? Which priorities, values or perceptions would you adjust? How would you re-imagine your work in order to celebrate your employment and its accomplishments?
  • To discover what choice you would make, pretend you’ve just won the lottery. After you’ve taken that around the world cruise and paid off the mortgage, what would you do? What activity has previously been beyond your reach, yet holds a special attraction or fascination for you? Is it helping sick kids, arranging flowers, teaching English, or designing new board games? What would you pick to do, if you could do whatever you wanted to?

Now, analyze your answers. If they’re the same or essentially the same for all three questions, your evaluation is complete. You’ve made your acquaintance with your talent. You’ve identified the specific activity—the work—you are called to do in the workplace. If, on the other hand, the answers are dissimilar, do some additional probing on the three activities. Break them down into their basic tasks or functions to find that common behavior which is your talent.

see url Finally, give yourself permission to accept what you uncover in this self-exploration. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never worked a day in your life at this activity. It doesn’t matter if you studied something else in college, community college or trade school. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never even thought about the activity as a career. All that counts is that it alone enables you to excel, and that excellence – your talent – is the key to job search and employment success.

If you’d like to read more about how to find and connect with your talent, get my book The Career Fitness Workbook at

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Peter Weddle is the author of over two dozen employment-related books, including A Multitude of Hope: A Novel About Rediscovering the American Dream, The Career Fitness Workbook: How to Find, Win & Hang Onto the Job of Your Dreams, The Career Activist Republic, The Success Matrix: Wisdom from the Web on How to Get Hired & Not Be Fired, and WEDDLE’s 2011/12 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet. Get them at and today.