I've got talent!

In last week’s article, we referred to the book, "THE BIG LEAP: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level" by Gay Hendricks, in which the author referred to entering our “Zone of Genius”.  This referred to the set of activities that we are each uniquely suited to do.  These are activities, that when you do them, seem like they take no time at all to do and are effortless.  They seem less like work and more like fun.  Your Zone of Genius draws upon what you are best suited to do; drawing from your own personal strengths.

In other words, the Zone of Genius draws from the talents that we have.  This doesn’t only mean talents that we currently possess, but also talents that we can develop.  At RCGS, when a beginner guitar student joins the school, no matter how unskilled they are at guitar when they join, they still have talent.  This is latent talent.  Untapped potential.  Furthermore, talents that we currently have can lead us into developing new talents.  A person who became a schoolteacher didn’t start life as a schoolteacher, they simply had talents such as communication, caring about others and a curiosity to learn that when combined with motivation and dedication, led them to become a schoolteacher.  Similarly, a person who can play the guitar is not born that way, they just possess a love of music, the desire to create music and the desire to learn something new.  Sprinkle in the motivation and the dedication and a little time and, wah-lah!  You can play the guitar.

Using our examples of a schoolteacher and a guitarist, we can now see that developing our Zone of Genius draws upon the best and most natural talents that we have, either currently developed or not yet developed.  So what talents do you have?  Are you aware of them, or if you are, do you put them down as being unworthy? 

All talents, regardless of what they are, are worthy.  Combining your special talents with a little motivation are like the ingredients to a fabulous recipe that when combined and prepared, creates something wonderful and special that no one else has ever tasted.  An example of this might be a person who can mow their lawn expertly and does beautiful landscaping in their own backyard.  They also might be great in handling their own personal business affairs.  These talents combined with the motivation to launch into something new in their life might lead them to create their own landscaping business.

We must also remember, that weaknesses can be strengths, too.  A person who may be “oversensitive” is just a person who is very perceptive about the feelings in themselves and in others, which in turn is a great strength.  A person who may be shy around others but has skill on the computer could develop into a talented computer programmer.  Weaknesses can hide great strengths and should never be overlooked.

Lastly, using your unique talents to do something that you love (entering your “Zone of Genius”) is not only fun and effortless (and potentially lucrative), but also makes you feel good about yourself.  And when we feel good about ourselves, we are much more fun to be around.  Think of what the world would be like if we all entered our Zone of Genius.  We would have people enjoying themselves creating wonderful and excellent things, all the while spreading happiness to those around them.  What a great goal for us all!

Exercises to help identify your talents for your Zone of Genius.

List your talents.  These could be anything:  baking, dancing, singing, driving, listening, making pancakes, planning, or imitating a famous actor.  These should be things that you find fun and make you happy.

List your weaknesses.  Be honest with yourself.  What are your weaknesses?  Remembering that weaknesses can actually be strengths in disguise, don’t hold back what they may be.  Identifying your weaknesses can also help you learn more about yourself.

Identify the strengths in your weaknesses.  Taking the weaknesses that you’ve identified above, identify the hidden strengths that lie behind them.  You may be surprised at what you find!

Now, try different combinations of your talents and the strengths from your weaknesses into potential jobs that sound like effortless fun for you.  Don’t worry about how you would do these jobs, let’s just identify them at this point.  See if you can come up with at least 3.

In next week’s blog, we’ll talk about how we can begin to transform these Zones of Genius from wishes into reality.   Stay tuned!

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