Natural strengths within! Our inborn talents and gifts take many forms. In essence, these are our most natural strengths. Funny, though, we can live a lifetime unaware of them.
“Concentration is the secret of strength.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
However, finding our natural strengths becomes us through introspection. We have:
Naturally, you may be a strategic thinker. Thinking visually and spatially. Thinking creatively. You may have a huge curiosity regarding many topics. Therefore, you may have a distinct clarity in observing processes. Modifying, simplifying and improving most of them. Then, there are:
You may be very intuitive, empathetic, and passionate about topics that interest you. You may have contagious confidence, be determined. Stubborn even. Spontaneous. Hilarious. Gentle. And ferocious, too. Finally, in your path to finding your natural strengths, you may want to look at:
You act in a certain way. Good body-eyes coordination. Natural ability to focus. Good listener and a naturally responsible person. Later on, your inborn talents develop into great strengths such as:
- being calm under pressure,
- a good negotiator,
- have a presence in front of an audience,
- find solutions,
- build labor of love, etc.
Your inborn talents are…
… the foundation of your natural strengths.
However, the talent alone is not enough. It is great to build upon it. Acquire the education, experience, and skill. Train and practice around it. Therefore, you turn your talent into your strength. Into practicality. Into material stuff. Refine it into a great and natural way of living. Here is a formula, if you will, for discovering your most natural strengths:
Talent + education + experience + skill training = personal strengths.
You are activating your natural strengths only when all these elements come together. Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of people have no idea what their strengths are.
Most people crave for other people’s talents…
… being completely blind to their own!
The good news is that you can always find your own. You probably are already well advanced in using it. Even if you are using it without your conscious awareness regarding it. It is very easy to see the natural talents that are physical.
For example talents in sports or entertainment like acting, singing, etc. Usually, the less popular talents, like the more mental-intellectual or the abstract talents, are not being perceived as talents. Though they really are.
There is a largely embraced misconception, which says :
“We can achieve anything anyone else can achieve if we are willing to work hard.”
We must have the natural talents as a natural foundation to any strength. We can only be great at something as long as we have a natural talent for it. Some people are greatly gifted to build stuff. Other people are great in envisioning the future. Thinking. Planning. Persuading other people, and so on. It is very easy to notice that high paid athletes were talented ever since they were little.
It is also relatively easy to spot the talent in any artist you can think of. Still, to turn it into strength, they all go through education. Experience. And skill training. They build their living around what becomes their most dominant strength. The natural strength came from a dominant inborn talent. You, too, have such a talent.
When you’ll stop fixing your flaws…
…you will naturally develop your inborn talents. They are your natural strengths.
It is just like the mental direction filter we have discussed previously. You can either move toward what you want, or you will move away from what you don’t want. It is the same with talents! You either obsess about fixing your weaknesses, or you develop your natural gifts or. It is a huge difference that creates very different results, as you have already learned.
This obsession with fixing our perceived weaknesses and constantly judging ourselves comes from the comparison. From the good-bad generalizations, which are not resourceful. Comparing brings inferiority and superiority, which are very relative ideas. When you don’t compare children and people, all inferiority and superiority disappear. Suddenly everything just is a tiny bush or an oak tree. The sun and a leaf of grass. An athlete and a spaceship builder.
Everything is needed and it all fits together.
It is an organic unity. Nobody is higher and nobody is lower. Nobody is superior, nobody is inferior. Everybody is incomparably unique. Nevertheless, there will always be somebody who apparently is more beautiful. Stronger. More articulate. Or apparently happier than we are.
The way to find out who you are is not by comparing yourself to others! It is by looking to see whether you are fulfilling your own potential in the best way you know how.
Maybe you can paint as no other painter has painted before you. Maybe you can act like no other actor can act. You can write. Or compose. Take amazing photos. Or be a marketing genius. You may be charming and compelling when you speak and turn into a fabulous public speaker.
You may be a wonderful educator. Or a parent. Or a pet ambassador. You may be a great businessperson. A wonderful innovator. Or a genius carpenter.
Whatever your talent is you can turn it into your most natural strengths when you educate it. When you create experiences around it. Especially, when you turn it into a skill that you will practice with perseverance and passion.
Most people perceive education as being only the formal part of it. Meaning your official years of schooling.
However, there is also an informal education. That is when you are learning from:
- Audio programs.
- The Internet.
- And every other information source you can find that teaches you something.
That is education, too. It is much more powerful because it is focused on specialized knowledge, rather than a more general type of information that formal education offers.
This is an area that continuously expands just as your consciousness expands. Everything you have directly learned from any given situation, regarding anything you find interesting or not, is called experience.
It is whatever you’ve noticed or learned throughout your life so far. It’s what you are using as observations and guidelines on how to do anything. From your day-to-day life routines to specific subjects and circumstances from your experience.
Skills essentially represent specialized knowledge offered by step-by-step instructions. Usually, experts in any field have refined this type of information so other people can learn any sort of activity. Even though anybody can learn any skill, and, in time became skillful at something, not all the people can become excellent in everything.
Some make fast progress and achieve mastery in an area. Others seem to never learn or, make very slow progress, at best. The difference is made by the inborn talents we all have.
Every human being on our planet has a gift or a dominant talent. However, having the gift is just the starting point. Your current natural strengths are talents that were continually reinforced through a combination of education, experience, and skills.
So, how do we find them?
Through introspection mostly. Also, by surveying people who know us well. Surveying our friends and all those who know us well can help us find out what we don’t see about ourselves, yet, or ever. Also, we get to feel awesome, since people will start to tell us about how wonderful we are. If you don’t have these kinds of people or friends in your life, it’s ok. Perhaps, better. Introspection is the name of the game for you.
I took this path as well; my higher self being my chosen guide. It is what makes us special.
Stuff we take for granted!
Things about us that we don’t even see because it comes so natural to us. You know you meet a great joke-teller at parties, who also sings beautifully. Dances like crazy. It’s all fun and charismatic. Then, you find out he or she is an accountant working for some company. And you go, like:
“What? That can’t be true”
But, it’s true.
Obviously, a gifted entertainer, become accountant due to we values, I can bet. The info we acquire through introspection and surveying friends, if we have them, is paving the way toward our strengths, even if in the beginning we may just spot the top of the iceberg, sort of speaking. Whatever we may find, we need to go deep.
Here are 5 steps you can use to start, right away!
- Start to look for whatever other people notice you are good at. As important, look for whatever you feel and know in your heart of hearts you are good at, better than all the people you know.
- Pay attention to everything you enjoy to do, especially those areas that feel like fun.
- Pay attention to any activity that energizes you and gives you a sense of aliveness.
- Think about whatever you have continuously improved throughout the years.
- Think about those activities and experiences that give you a flow state while doing it.
You’ll spot 2 signs within.
Yearnings pull us toward one thing, a probable strength. It’s like an internal magnet. We have these memories and sensations from early childhood, which continuously pulls us toward them, throughout life. A life-long labor of love, or any meaningful kind of work that does not feel like a job, often begins in yearnings from childhood.
Great emotional and psychic rewards together with satisfaction come from activities we love to do and cannot get enough of. These are activities that feel like play to us. Satisfaction and yearnings cluster around strengths.
While in the process of self-inquiry use this rule as a general guideline.
If it doesn’t feel good, it’s not your strength.
Look for stuff you have rapidly learned during your lifetime.
Strength is always characterized by initial rapid learning that continues throughout one’s lifetime. Whenever you find yourself catching anything quickly, feeling like you’ve always known how to do it…
…that is a natural way of finding strengths.
Look for glimpses of excellence. Whenever you find yourself animated by a story you tell, by some book you read, by a presentation you give or watch, by a heart to heart talk with someone you love, and find yourself completely caught in the moment…
…it is a glimpse of strength.
Whenever you are doing anything that feels like there are no conscious steps to it, like a continuous flow where time is suspended or doesn’t exist that is a sign of strength.
To conclude this chapter, ask yourself often the following 4 questions:
- What was the best day at work I’ve had in the last three months? (It’s ok if you don’t have a job)
- What was I doing?
- Why did I enjoy it so much?
- How was I able to do that … and how was I able to do that… and how was I able to do that?
In the coming episode, we’ll start the final part of the “Think Zing!” book: Understanding.
Until we meet again, be well.
You can find all the episodes of the “Think Zing!” series hosted at The Zingnificent Show.