How To Identify Your Unique Talents – Just Ask For Help

We all have unique talents, yet a lot of us are blind to them and are quick to identify areas of technical or professional excellence if asked what we do best. The following video is about the nine types of intelligence and how to discover your talents.

So what’s the way to discover your talents? Most of us, I guess, would like to be gifted with one or more talents, right? Maybe you even would like to be a genius. Well, I know that you’re absolutely talented at one thing or another, and when you’re not sharing this with the world around you, your talent may get wasted. Perhaps you haven’t discovered your talent yet. So go on and find out what type of intelligence you may excel at.

In the video, the nine intelligence types are characterized as Naturalist, Musical, Logical-Mathematical, Existential, Interpersonal, Bodily-Kinesthetic, Linguistic, Intrapersonal, and Spatial. Well, if you’ve discovered your talent, never give up going for it, always be confident and focused, and just always keep doing it!

Try to set some time aside over the coming weeks to think about your life using one or both of the approaches I’ll describe below and in some next posts.
You’ll be better ready for it. So many SFSU heroes persisted in their dreams as Richard Oakes did. Oakes, a former SFSU student, was one of the Alcatraz Island occupiers and an important member of SFSU’s Department of American Indian Studies.

The aim of this exercise is to have your family/friends/associates identify your unique talents. Unique talents are those particular personal qualities we possess that set us apart from almost all others. Many SFSU students discovered their talent during the years at university. Interesting is the period from the end of 1969 to early 1971 when Native Americans occupied Alcatraz Island. They were called the “Indians of All Tribes.” See also this post: The Alcatraz Proclamation

Very often, our talents come so naturally to us that we may not be aware of them or if aware may not even see them as anything special just as the SFSU native American students discovered in the days of the Alcatraz Island Occupation. Read more on Richard Oakes, the Native American Activist, here. Typically they are carried out with an ease and grace that are especially striking to the external observer. Recognizing these talents will give us valuable insights into what facets of our professional and personal lives we should be emphasizing, and may open the door to alternative career scenarios.

We all have unique talents. But the fact of the matter is that minority groups are less likely to have the same opportunities as other student groups. They will, for example, have fewer options to go abroad under the umbrella of a foreign student exchange program, for example, as their non-minority peers.

The emphasis here is on human qualities, not on technical or procedural mastery. Sample examples from actual students are:

* “Able to deal with angry or difficult patients during internships for healthcare administration students or peers in a good-humored way, yet decompress the awkward situation.”

* “Excellent at challenging authority figures in the academic community, without being strident or disrespectful.” Well, for quite a few years, CCSC (Cesar Chavez Student Center) has supported interns. These programs provide job training and mentorship via paid internships available to at-risk young people from the San Francisco area.

Proceed as follows:

1. Identify 10-15 individuals who know you well and whom you view as well disposed to you. Ideally, they will be from a variety of contexts, about 1/3rd professional, 1/3rd family, and 1/3rd friends. The latter third could be drawn from groups like your golf or book club, volunteer organizations you belong to, your church or synagogue and so forth. You can do this very well during your years in college and if you want to learn more about college loans and grants, read this post.

2. Ask these individuals to identify 2 or 3 special human qualities that you possess where you really shine, and to share them with you. A sample note is provided at the end of this document.

3. Make a list of these qualities but try to avoid plagiarism in your pieces at all times! You may also learn a lot by taking a glimpse into the life of a real leader and discovering your own talent quickly!

Sample Note:

Dear X,
I am in the process of evaluating my professional goals and objectives and would like to ask for 5 minutes of your time to help me. I’m interested in knowing what close friends, family, and professional colleagues view as my special human talents, as distinct from areas of procedural or technical expertise.

I’d be grateful if you would let me know of 2 or 3 qualities that come most to mind when you think of me. The nice thing is you only have to think of positive attributes.
I’ll be amalgamating these with feedback from about 10-15 others.
Thank you very much in advance for your help.