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5 Ways To Identify Your Talents And Utilize Them

5 Ways To Identify Your Talents And Utilize Them

To find our talents, we have to experiment. It is extremely rare to just discover one’s talents straight out of high school. A talent is something that you are naturally good at combined with lots of experience over the years.

Although some people are born with certain talents, like the ability to paint, solve math problems, and create or play music, not all of us are lucky enough to meet our talents in early years. That’s why we have to stop depending on luck and start taking action. Going from one thing to another, wrong or right, we build ourselves as an individuals. Before we show off our talents, we must first find them.

I’ve selected 5 ways to identify your talents and utilize them. Make sure that you find yourself in each of them.

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1. Dive into action!

Action is underrated. We think too much. We spend all day thinking about what should be done instead of doing something about it. I wasted almost a year before I started blogging. I wasted a whole year trapped inside of a thinking-phase and trying to discover my talents. What was the outcome? I wasted lots of time. There is no good outcome from over-thinking.

Do stuff, write your ideas in a notebook, and work. It works even in the beginning; just start something. Even if it’s wrong, at least you’ve eliminated one possible talent. Force your thoughts into actions. That’s the only the way you will dive into action; otherwise, the overall time is wasted.

2. Discover.

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.” –Albert Einstein

Never stop questioning! Diving into action and questioning everything are the two quick-start boosters for finding your talents. Be curious. Find what drives your blood and keep pursuing it. If we stagnate in one place and stop asking questions, we will never reach the extraordinary. Take action, do more, and keep questioning! Life is too boring when you know all the answers.

3. Select your talents.

At some point, in one place or another and after frequently taking action, we will discover our talents. Some people are good at public speaking; some are good at selling products, and some are good at blogging. Knowing what you are good at opens a lot of opportunities.

We have to decide in what direction we will head. If it’s public speaking, we can be a representative for a firm. If it’s blogging, we can choose between 10,000 things to write about. We have to dive into action, discover our talents, and select our direction.

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4. Keep upgrading.

This concept fits right in with number two. Keep questioning and keep answering those questions to upgrade your knowledge and skills. If we keep asking ourselves questions, but we let the answers slip right through, we will experience overthinking. And as discussed in number one, overthinking will only waste time rather than help us find our talents.

Recently I meet the guy who broke the world record in a marathon. Before he broke the world record, he kept asking himself, “Can someone pass that time?” or “How much more should I push to have a faster pace than the world record?” He kept answering those questions, and eventually, he did pass Patrick Macau’s world record by 15 seconds. He personally said that he wouldn’t stop until he has the world record at a safe place. Upgrading is a must for talent; otherwise, we will keep sinking into quicksand.

5. Reach perfectionism.

It’s been said that perfection doesn’t exist, and it’s true.  Perfection to me is being better than the guy you were yesterday! That’s what perfection is, to keep bettering ourselves everyday. Read, motivate, inspire, share your knowledge, and support your talents everyday.

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Steve Jobs invented Apple computers and inspired his workers to build new Apple products. Apple continues his work without him, and they will persist in improving their products until the last day of Apple’s existence. The fact is, Steve Jobs did reach his personal perfectionism, and did the best he could until his last breath.

Time is passing by. Take more action, never stop questioning, select your talents, upgrade and reach your personal perfectionism. Be the best version of you!

“Stay hungry, stay foolish” –Steve Jobs

Featured photo credit: Question Everything / Nullius in verba / Take nobody’s word for it / Duncan Hull via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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