An old saying claims that every person is a genius somewhere deep inside, and the only thing standing between you and worldwide recognition is identifying and unearthing the area you are supposedly good at. This point of view doesn’t really survive any heavy-weight criticism, but has a rational basis – you might have talents that you are completely unaware of. Think about those who write bestsellers at the age when the most they can hope for is peaceful retirement. There are tons of examples, including Hollywood celebrities that were unknown for a few first decades of their lives (think Alan Rickman). And even on a smaller scale – you can suddenly find out that you are extremely good at beer pong, however, useless it might be. Some go as far as extracting talents from every-day characteristics, equating bossiness with managing qualities and skepticism with logical thinking.
Discovering those hidden treasures is not always a life-changing event, but it is always worth a try. So, how can you see what you are good at? There are a few ways.
It is not about hobbies that have been with you since early years – you know about those and how good you are at them. Psychology Today advises to go deeper and think about games you played most willingly. Natural gifts are things we use subconsciously, unlike newly acquired and developed skills. Did you write poems that your parents still have pinned to the fridge door and that you are now kind of ashamed of? Take time to reiterate – maybe this is where your natural talent truly is.
I am not talking about formal education, God no. If you wanted something to dig your talents even deeper – that would be it. The education I have in mind is more of a curious nature. Did you know people make pictures of cereal and draw on sand? You probably do. But what about painting with a basketball, dead ants, blood? My point is, as long as you don’t know how many things and hobbies exist out there, you can’t try them. You may also know nothing about StudentShare, a large database of samples, but if you try, you’ll find plenty of ideas to write anything you need.
Okay, it does sound a little bit overused, but it is still true. Until you have tried writing short stories and exposed yourself to the unkind criticism of the collective power of the Internet, you don’t know if you can do it or not. Trying is key to understanding what you are good at. The way of trial and error is probably not the fastest, but it is definitely the most effective.
There are hundreds of different ways to identify whether you have a natural inclination to certain jobs and activities. You can take tests, such as Sargent jump test or reaction time test, to see if you could be a professional athlete. While some of the sports tests require you to do the squats and take running times, the reaction test is easily completed online.
Not sure sport is your thing? Then focus on other areas. There are tests that will help you understand whether you are a natural born leader or maybe an outstanding sommelier thanks to your well-developed tasting abilities. The list can go on forever – there are tests to measure your progress and giftedness in virtually all areas. And the best part is – you can take them right from the comfort of your home.
Let’s forget for a second about politeness and think that everything your friends compliment you on is true. Maybe your comic stories are actually good, your baking is outstanding, and your origami skills are something to be proud of. People around you can give a much more objective evaluation of your skills and talents, so it is wise to start taking them seriously at some point. Of course, a healthy share of skepticism will help, but never discard this feedback altogether.
Quite often your natural gifts show up in conversion subjects you raise whenever you have a possibility. The connection might be obscure, but deducing will help reveal it. Are you into celebrity stories? Then maybe PR or journalism would be a good fit for you. Is travelling your thing? How about starting a travel agency or at least a travel blog? Can talk for hours about kids? Maybe you could be a remarkable teacher?
Let’s say you are good at a few things, but not enough to make it your profession. How to decide which direction to move into and what will not bore you to death if you do it regularly? There are passion tests that will help you understand what you like doing without realizing it. And if you are already good at something, it most certainly points at your natural talent that can be cherished and developed into something bigger.
Discovering your hidden abilities and talents is definitely not a must do, but it can help you better understand yourself, re-discover your passion and enjoy life much more than you used to. So why no?