According to this online Cambridge dictionary talent is “a natural ability to be good at something, especially without being taught”. Many believe it comes naturally while others see it as a skill developed through capacity building. The fact is, even if one is naturally good at something, the role of training cannot be ignored.
For example, you can’t know if you’re a talented piano player when you don’t play any in the first place. Even the best footballers get rusty without training. In schools, we see students who are exceptionally good at numerate subjects. And they always seem to be like having two heads compared to everybody else. For others, the struggle may have been different. They may not have started well but they turned out to maths gurus later.
So what happened in between for these ones?
They simply made up their minds to excel and develop themselves. Hence, talent can be improved on.
Here are a few tips on how to build and develop your talent:
- Recognise your talent – Take time to discover your talent. Find an activity you really like, don’t under- or over-estimate your talent. What have you done successfully in the past? What can you keep doing without any monetary reward? What do you enjoy doing most? With this process, you can identify where your talent lies.
- Set goals and Challenge yourself. – Building and developing your talents will require setting realistic goals and targets. A university study has shown that people who write down their goals are more likely to succeed. Don’t say “I want to start my football training sessions”, but say “I am going to start my training session in May at Ajegunle stadium”. That is more specific and has a timeline. Also, set a goal above what you can achieve as it will motivate you to go the extra mile – challenge yourself.
- Learn, Practice connect with like-minds– It’s necessary to take courses to develop your talents. Look for a course that fits your learning style. During the sessions, network with like-minds as they could be a source of motivation. There are people around who can teach you in exchange of another skill, or just to share their knowledge. Identify such people and learn from them. Like the Holy Book says Iron sharpens iron, so one talented person can sharpen another. Partners who have the same goals can help you overcome obstacles, motivate and inspire you.
- Always believe in yourself – Feel confident about yourself and your skills. It will build a positive energy that you will need to overcome challenges. Even if you may fail a few times, keep trying again. Each trial gives you confidence that you will get it right soon, don’t give up.
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