Talent doesn’t come in a box!
Peter Koijen and Ligia Koijen Ramos from In2Motivation, an Amsterdam-based personal and professional development company, explain what talent is and how you can recognise and use yours.
A lot of people out there are looking for their talent. Maybe you are one of those people? You feel that you don’t exactly know what you are good at, or if you do, how you can use it in your daily life.
Moving countries is regarded by some as the best opportunity to change their career and look for something or some professional role that can give them more fulfilment, meaning and even happiness!
The quote is old but it still has people dreaming: “Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life!” This is very powerful and inspires lots of people to imagine their own passion as their job. But it also creates a lot of pressure, because they believe that this particular passion should be “the one”.
Well, along the way you will find that “the one” doesn’t really exist. It is just like a romantic couple: you will always find something, even if it is little, that doesn’t fit your expectations or dreams.
Does talent equal happiness?
Talent doesn’t come in a box and it is not something that you do. Rather, it is something that you are. Being good at something doesn’t necessarily mean that it will make you happy doing it.
- “I’m good at sales, but it doesn’t make me happy being focused on sales and having that as a role in a company.” Ligia
- “I’m very good at playing the bass guitar, but it doesn’t mean that I would be happy doing that professionally.” Peter
How to use your talent
If you want to know and use your talent, you first need to know yourself. And that is already a great talent in itself!
Being good at something doesn’t necessarily mean that it will make you happy doing it.
What are my values?
The first step is to recognise what is important to you. A great way to do this is to list your values: say what is important to you, and what makes you feel that you are in the right place.
How should I use these values?
The second step is to identify how you use each one of these values. Example: value is growth. How I do it: I study. I buy books. I take part in different training sessions and workshops. I look for mentors and people from whom I can learn.
How do I live each value fully?
The third step is to recognise what you need to live each value fully. Example: value is growth. I need self-esteem. I need variety in tasks. I need new knowledge. I need intellectual challenge. I need space to be creative. I need time to organise thoughts and solutions. I need autonomy.
How can I fulfil my needs?
The fourth step is to reply to the question: What can I do to fulfil my needs? For this step, you might need to step out of your comfort zone. What we often see in our coaching practice is that people stay in the same peer group, and so encounter the same stories and examples.
For you to find yourself, you need to explore, to have different stories and different influences. Otherwise, you will stay in the same place that you are now.
Make yourself happy
One thing people forget is that individuals are a mix of all the people that they meet. The beliefs, the ideas and the possibilities that you see will be very much influenced by the people that you have around you. So, make sure you have the most eclectic group that you can find.
When you are applying for a job or thinking about creating one for yourself, use all of the things that you have learned about yourself. Ask all the above questions in the interview or create a daily life in which you live your most important values. Make yourself happy!
Co-authors Peter Koijen and Ligia Koijen Ramos are life coaches and motivational speakers at In2Motivation, offering personal and professional training courses to optimise individual and group motivation and performance.