"To remain indifferent to the challenges we face is indefensible. If the goal is noble, whether or not it is realized within our lifetime is largely irrelevant. What we must do therefore is to strive and persevere and never give up" (Dalai Lama)
Discovering your talents should be an ongoing journey, lasting your entire working life and changing its course to reflect your changing interests, aspirations, desires and passions even though the journey will be affected by the opportunities, great or small, that you encounter along the way.
Every so often, it is important to stop and reconsider what makes you tick, what makes you feel good, what you do well and that you understand that your career can also bring out the best in you.
Each and every one of us has talents, unique skills, things we can do better than others that give us pleasure and satisfaction. Yet every talent needs to be lovingly nurtured, cultivated and trained with perseverance and determination.
To kick start your journey of discovery, here is some simple advice you have probably heard already, but may have forgotten or not followed constantly.
The first five tips are:
Be the first to believe in yourself
Start to believe in yourself before asking others to trust you and believe in your talents, skills and projects. Though seemingly obvious, we often do the exact opposite, expecting others to believe in us, even when we ourselves are unconvinced about what we really want and can do.
Build up the conviction that you can succeed and that you have the skills that set you apart from others. Allow yourself to have dreams, desires and ambitions to be achieved through your career choices.
In order to believe in yourself, to understand what you really want to achieve through work and what makes you feel good, you must get to know yourself deep down. Be totally honest as you analyse your innermost thoughts and emotions. Self-awareness is the ability to recognise your thoughts, feelings, preconceived ideas, preferences, convictions and values and to comprehend how they impact your view of the world and way you engage with others.
Don’t rely on other people’s opinions
All too often when making fundamental choices involving our private or professional lives, we are conditioned by other people’s advice or judgement or simply what we fear their judgement may be. The advice here is, by all means, to listen to advice, especially when it is interested and offered with your best interest in mind, but not to worry about other people’s judgement because nobody else will actually be living your life.
Never forget who you really are
We all have a life story. Each story is unique and original and deserves to be remembered, protected and respected. Use your life story and what you have learnt from it to build part of your future. Try to remember which aspects of your childhood personality made you happy. Look at a photo of yourself as an adolescent and reconstruct the dreams and hopes of your youth. Tell someone about something you achieved when you were young that you are still proud of. Be proud of all the choices that make up your life story, even those you are dissatisfied with. Join all the dots and try to comprehend the story you are writing.
Embrace the opposites in your life
Every journey of discovery is strewn with obstacles which may be the exact opposite of what you were expecting. Being able to accommodate the contradictions in your life is an essential skill. These pairs of opposites may be composed of desire and fear, reason and sentiment or a desire for stability countered by a desire for change. You probably recognise that such opposing forces are inherent to this phase of your life in which you are discovering your talents as well as what you can and wish to do for your future. Don’t attempt to remove these opposites but try to set up a dialogue between them.
#theartofworking is the art of trusting more in your dreams than in your fears