Talents come in many varieties. They may be artistic or technical, mental or physical, inwardly directed or outwardly directed.

They may not be profitable, useful, or conventional, but one thing they will always be is your own, a part of what makes you, you.

Talents are usually second nature and “feel right”: the expertise seems easily gained.

How do people identify their unique talents and passions? Does it happen by chance?

Whether or not you discover your talents and passions is partly a matter of opportunity. If you’ve never been sailing, or picked up an instrument, or tried to teach or to write fiction, how would you know if you had a talent for these things?

Human resources are like the earth’s natural resources, they’re often buried beneath the surface and you have to make an effort to discover them.

Finding your element requires advice, guidance and practical exercises to help you do this deliberately and systematically.

One of the odd things in life is that people are given innate abilities to do things, but aren’t told what they are. Everyone pretty much has to find out on their own what they are good at doing.

Unfortunately, not all innate abilities are as easy to discover as a talent for drawing or singing. For these people, there has to be some searching.

Below are ten eye-opening tips on how to discover your own unique talents.

#1. Think about what you love to do.

What do you usually enjoy doing, without being asked? What do you seem to be naturally good at? On what do you focus best or most enthusiastically? What must you be dragged away from doing?

Consider your interests. What sort of things do you like to read about, write about, or talk about?

What shows do you watch on television? What magazine and newspaper articles catch your eyes?

#2. Notice what you’re not good at, too.

What always seem like a struggle for you? What makes you feel awkward or out of place?

For instance, some people are great talkers but hate writing; for others, it’s the other way around. That’s not to say you can’t develop skill in areas that are not your forte, but if you choose to do so, you will know that they are not.

What if your passion isn’t something you’re good at? The Element is where natural talents meet personal passions. To be in your Element, it is not enough to be doing something you’re good at. Many people are good at things they don’t enjoy. To be in your Element you have to love it: if you do, you’ll never “work” again.

Passion is the driver of achievement in all fields. Some people love doing things they don’t feel they’re good at. That may be because they underestimate their talents or haven’t yet put the work in to develop them. Either way, a strong passion allied with even a moderate talent, will generally get you further than a strong talent with little enthusiasm.

#3. Play

Whatever that means to you, let yourself do it. It’s not just for children. Experiment, explore, investigate. Try doing different things and entertain different activities. Even try on different personalities.

Give yourself a safe environment for explorations, one in which you feel free to explore and try different things without the creative inhibition that tells you, you might be “wrong”. That could be as simple as practicing something alone, with nobody or only a trusted friend looking on.

When nobody watching, practice your writing attempt new dance moves or look at the notebook where you work out the details of your latest invention, you won’t have to worry about what they think of it.

#4. Keep a journal or notebook of some sort

It doesn’t have to be fancy or formal. You could keep it on the computer or even use voice recordings, if you prefer. Freewriting from time to time is one good way to get at what’s on your mind. If writing isn’t for you, try drawing pictures, “mind-mapping”, or making notes in some other ways that suits you. Regardless of the method, capture your thoughts every now and then. It can help you to spot patterns and themes within your life.

#5. Try taking some personality tests

Test yourself and try things. It might sound obvious, but the best way to find out if you have the talent for something, is to give it a try. Sometimes this may be in the form of a test, written or otherwise, other times it might be in simply seeing something someone else is doing and giving it a try to see if you can do it too.

They can offer insights into the way that you think. These sort of tests do not identify talents by themselves, but they can lend insights that might solve a good part of the puzzle.

Author: Taofeek Ayeyemi