MARILYN ANONA writes: TALENT if discovered, nurtured and practised not only give us fulfilment, but can take us to places beyond our dreams.

Talents? The truth of the matter is, most people live all their lives not even knowing they have a talent or even discovering what their talent is. Thereby living a life that doesn’t fulfil their purpose of creation and existence. Talents are different from skills, in that they tend to be innate rather than learned. Once found, they can be nurtured and developed, but finding them can be tricky. It’s partly a process of self-observation and honesty. The rest is learning and practice. Studying a course and having a degree from a university is very good but I tell you, TALENT if discovered, nurtured and practised not only give us fulfilment, but can take us to places beyond our dreams. Talents make us. Anybody can go to the university get a degree and still be as confused and unfulfilled as ever. If not for Talent, people like Innocent Idibia(Tuface), Chinedum Okolie (Flavour), Beyonce, Mikel Obi etc may never be known or be fulfilled. Some people are so lucky, they know what or where their talent lies. But for some people, they don’t get to discover it and die without discovering it. Every one of us was born with a gift. So today, I want to take time to outline the possible steps that will help you discover your talents. Its in a bid to motivate you and make you realize that in a society where unemployment and underemployment are major issues, there is still something you can do for yourself.

*** The first step in discovering your talent is to know what it is you love to do. Think about what you love to do. What do you usually enjoy doing, without being asked? What do you seem to be naturally good at?On what do you focus best or most enthusiastically? What must you be dragged away from doing?

***The second step is to play, yes play! Whatever that means to you, let yourself do it. It’s not just for children. Experiment, explore, investigate. Try doing different things and entertain different activities. Even try on different personalities.

Give yourself a safe environment for your explorations, one in which you feel free to explore and try different things without the creative inhibition that tells you you might be “wrong”. That could be as simple as practising something alone, with nobody or only a trusted friend looking on. If nobody has to read your practice writing or watches your early attempts at dancing or looks at the notebook where you worked out the details of your latest invention, you won’t have to worry about what they think of it.

*** The third step towards achieving this goal of discovering your talent is taking some personality tests. They can offer insights into the way that you think.

*** The fourth step is to Learn about your learning style. You can find on-line quizzes for that, too. Major learning styles are visual, auditory, reading/writing, and tactile/kinaesthetic.

*** This fifth step is a very important step that you must not fail to take note of. Notice what people tell you about yourself. Do they notice that you light up when you explain something? Does everybody seem to compliment you on your writing? Your physical coordination? Your singing?

*** The sixth step is to Consider your interests. What sorts of things do you like to read about, write about, or talk about? What shows do you watch on television? What magazine and newspaper articles catch your eye?

*** the seventh is Notice what you’re not good at, too. What seems always to be a struggle? What makes you feel awkward or out of place? For instance, some people are great talkers but hate writing; for others, it’s the other way around. That’s not to say you can’t develop skills and strategies in areas that are not your forte, but if you choose to do so, you will know that they are not

*** The eighth step is to Keep a journal or notebook of some sort. It doesn’t have to be fancy or formal. You could keep it on the computer or even use voice recordings, if you prefer. Freewriting from time to time is one good way to get at what’s on your mind.
If writing isn’t for you, try drawing pictures, “mind-mapping”, or making notes some other way that suits you. Regardless of the method, capture your thoughts now and then. It can help you to spot patterns and themes within your life.

*** And that takes us to the Ninth step, Nothing will ever be refined, improved on or be good without consistent practice. Didn’t they say that practice makes perfect? Once you find something you love to do, do more of it. You will improve your skills and refine your technique this way. You will also discover the depths of your talent, whether it was more a passing phase. Even if the interest turns out to be temporary, you may notice what interested you about a particular

*** Hmmmmmm, some people feel or think that hoarding is a way of safe guarding talents. Nope, when you hoard, you can never be seen or heard and you can never practise enough to be refined. You are not open so you don’t know what areas to improve on because no one has ever seen or heard you to even point out your flaws. Share your talent with others. It’s ok to practice by yourself, but at some point, you should nurture your talent by finding a teacher, even if it’s just somebody else with more experience at something who can give you advice. Having an audience (even a small one) is, in many cases, equally important. *** This takes us to the last but not the least step. Yeah, its bad not to discover your talent, but its worse to discover it and not put it to use. And this is the eleventh step, Use your talent. Make the world a better place, or just show off. Consider making a career of it, or just a hobby. Or if you just want to make it useful just for yourself. Discovering your talent and not putting it to use causes depression and a worse kind of depression. Discovering who we are is joyful, putting it to use is fulfilling. I urge us to put in a little effort to discover who we are. Rushing off to study a course in the University is very good but studying what you should never have studied is an error. Doing something you don’t like to do through out your life is a sure sign of depression. Discover your talent today and live a more fulfilled life.
Be Inspired! Be Enlightened!! Be Motivated!!!
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  1. I must say that this a very nice article,& a good reminder to anyone about to give up on something they’ve got talent for,maybe due to not enough money to go on with it or maybe they’re just so afraid of change.You must let the past be your lesson,the present your gift & the future is your motivation…because I don’t think there’s anyone who came into this world to bask in the sun,after they must have mastered something they love & are talented at.
    But I do believe that most talented people easily tend to avoid it all & live freely like they’ve got no special talent,just so people don’t steal their freedom away,some are afraid of criticism,& change,inshort most people can’t afford the burden or task that comes with that talent even after its been,discovered,nutured,& explored,take for instance,most star with a popular song or movie can’t just walk the streets like other people without getting so much attention from the passerby,some people can’t stand the ALL EYES ON ME fame at all…..But those with a strong will & sometimes a strong ambition for fame can easily adapt,maybe after training & motivation,because talent if well harnessed assist in making ends meet,as a means of livelihood,since its a gift,& they know God can provide for a person through any way he wants to,they grab the opportunity,& also realise along the line that as humans we must always quickly remember that other people’s thought chains have no business around our neck…Sincerely,If you take some time to study life itself,you would realise that the reason God gave us different talent is to assist us join Him in making things happen for other people!
    Very inspiring artist,So keep the good work!

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