There are many reasons why you need to know your talents but these are the main ones I would like to share with you.
It is very simple. Your talents give you energy, mental energy. When you are doing something where you use your talents, you will feel invigorated, mentally alert and energized. You might feel physically tired but you will still deliver.
Can you remember an occasion when, despite a bad night’s sleep, you not only enjoyed and had fun doing but you delivered? You were definitely using some of your talents!
When you love doing something, excellence comes easily. When you excel, success follows. Although you may achieve success without using your talents due to hard work, luck or circumstances, success comes more easily when you do use them.
If you love sales for instance, you will stand out compared to anyone who doesn’t really love (read: have the talent for) it.
Excellence combined with (mental) energy, leads to satisfaction. As mentioned earlier, success can result from hard work and a combination of circumstances, but if driven though using your talents, you will get more energy from the activity, which will lead to satisfaction.
Just think of it another way – can you recall receiving a compliment for work done amazingly well, but feeling non-pulsed by it? I bet you had not enjoyed doing the work. Now think of a compliment received for work you enjoyed doing. I bet it left you feeling satisfied.
4, Craft your job/life
Once you know the things you love doing, and the things you don’t, you can craft your job and tweak your tasks and activities accordingly. You can take on more of what you love doing, and become an expert in your area or a reference for your colleagues. You can also delegate the things you don’t enjoy or outsource them. If you can’t, I guarantee that being aware of your set of talents, will change the way you look at these activities.
5, Easier to make choices
When you know what fires you and what you do and don’t love doing, making choices becomes easier. From this clarity, you will choose to do more of the things you love and less of the things you don’t. You won’t have that lingering doubt ‘maybe I should make more of an effort’, ‘if he can do it, no reason why I can’t’. Choices should be made according to what really drives you, not what you or others think should drive you.
6, Avoid frustration
When you don’t use your strong talents, you pay a price. Unused talents bring about frustration, unrest, discontentment – all in all unpleasant sensations. See it as unreleased energy that therefore creates unpleasant feelings.
7, Keeping up the positivity ratio
Finally, bear in mind the positivity ratio of Barbara Fredrickson (Professor of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), which essentially tells that for every negative experience, we need three positive ones to compensate and have a positive balance. This means that for at least 75% of your time, you need to be working with your talents, doing things that give you energy. This does not mean solely in a professional setting, but in life in general.
Quite simply, don’t waste your talents!