We were all born with a myriad of talents and most of us only use a few. More & more people are trying to combine natural talent and personal passion. Those of us who succeed are in our natural element. That’s when we are at our best, when we give the world something another person cannot give.
Most of us are unsure of what our real talents are or what really makes us passionate. We are unsure of our capacities, of what we can achieve if we set out on our own journey. But there is something we need to know, something we should write down in BIG and pin to the wall : WE CAN DO WAY MORE THAN WHAT WE BELIEVE !
In his book “Finding your element” , Sir Ken Robinson explains that “our element” is the place where the things we love to do and the things we are good at converge. Being in our element makes us feel AUTHENTIC. This changes absolutely everything : time drifts away differently, our lives are more intense, we are more focussed and active. It feels like a revelation ! Anyone who has lived through this knows what I’m talking about… For the first time we realize who we are and what we are destined to do in this life.
There is no magic potion to make this happen, but there are a couple of very real & effective tools we can use when we’re searching for ourselves (and we are ALLOWED to).
First, we need to EXPAND our vision. We are not aware of our many talents. Society is set up in such a way that if we do poorly in school, what we are likely to hear is : “It’s going to be hard for you, if you don’t do well”. “You need to go to College, get a job, earn money…”, etc… Society pressures us into believing there is only one way forward, a set highway we need to get on... Forget the dirt tracks and the little roads in the woods, where you might get stuck ! Take the highway and speed through life. (Oh…but the dirt tracks are so much more beautiful and the stops in the woods exquisite).
We need to radically change our take on intelligence and creativity. Intelligence is not only LOGIC, VERBAL or MATHEMATICS. A Harvad psychologist distinguished different forms of intelligence : LINGUISTIC, MUSICAL, MATHEMATICAL, SPATIAL, KINETIC, INTERPERSONAL. We are all creative beings and creativity can express itself in many different shapes and forms : sciences, taking care of our homes, sports, relationships…
Realizing we have a UNIQUE intelligence and creative skills is a step towards getting to know who we are meant to be.
The question to ask is not “I am intelligent ?” but “What is my intelligence ? “. This question changes everything : self-vision, self-knowledge, self-empowerment.
LOOKING FOR WHAT we LOVE. We know we’re on the right path when we take great pleasure. Our society is based on the value of work. Work, work, work. Our entire lives are designed to get a job…The notion of pleasure is not common in the workplace. We do the job => get the money. We find pleasure elsewhere, in the little free time we get : holidays, weekends, nights. Some cultures shame pleasure : “You’re lucky you have a job, you should be happy, grateful ! “. But what if we feel empty doing that said job, should we have to be grateful ? Aren’t we allowed to want our souls to dance, to be fueled by fire ?
This does not mean there won’t be problems or frustrations but we will have moments when we feel GREAT SATISFACTION. We need to stimulate our imagination. That requires willingness to take a little time here and there to figure out what we love ! Questions we can ask ourselves : What do I like ? Music, people, dance, plants… What gives me energy ? Activities we adore can fill us with energy rapidly, the ones we don’t suck the life out of us. Mental energy is not a fixed formula it evolves in tune with our passion and diligence.
We should ask ourselves : “If I had the freedom to design my future without thinking about money or what people think, what would I choose ?
When are we in “THE ZONE” ? When things are good we experience life differently, we are focused on the present. When we are in contact with our profound center of interests and our natural energy, we abandon ourselves completely and our energy is multiplied. Our breathing changes, we are literally absorbed by what we’re doing. Let’s stop to think : When was the last time I completely abandoned myself to an activity to such an extent the world disappeared ? “. Ken Robinson says we discover our most natural self in “the zone” “flow” “optimal psychological state”. When we are there, we can accomplish so many more things. We are more open to ourselves & people.
How to recognize THE ZONE ?
We feel a sense of freedom & authenticity. Centered on ourselves. We feel we are what we really are.
It’s like discovering a source that helps us accomplish our goals more easily. Ideas keep coming and flow, we are like an interface.
Finding OUR tribe ! We need to figure out what tribe we belong to. Basically a group of people we feel good around. They see the world like we do, they make us feel good, they recognize our talent, inspire us, influence us and pull us to the top. Members of a tribe don’t have to be identical in all aspects. What connects the tribe is a common devotion and passion. A tribe has 3 strengths :
If we feel misunderstood or lonely this is probably a good sign we haven’t found our tribe. Members of a same tribe can talk, encourage each other, share ideas and throw them around. LET US LOOK FOR OUR FELLOW BEINGS.
Overcoming OUR OBSTACLES ! FEAR is the biggest obstacle in the way of us finding our element. Fear of not being good enough, of being poor, of the unknown…
We should ask ourselves...How many times has FEAR stopped me from doing something I love ? The only obstacles that can prevent us from finding our element are INTERNAL. Take Paulo Coelho, his parents put him in a psychiatric hospital because he wanted to become a writer. He underwent electrochock therapy because he was destined to be a lawyer. He stood firm and centered despite the obstacles. People in our ENTOURAGE who don’t respect our passion generally think they want our wellbeing. The easy way can be very tempting, especially when in doubt. But we should ask ourselves : “Is it more important to benefit from the approval of my entourage or to become my better self ?”.
Finding OUR mentor ! Having a mentor is of great value to find our element. We don’t NEED one, but it does help on the journey to finding ourselves to have someone who can guide us. Most people who use their talent in the right way met SOMEONE along the way who helped make their dreams possible. A mentor can see what lights us up. He pushes us outside our comfort zone and doesn’t leave any space for doubt. We need to FIND our mentor !
Never thinking it’s TOO LATE… Most of us feel we just missed the opportunity to do something with our talent because of how life just unfolded or because of a lack of self-confidence. If we start believing our life is an endless routine and that nothing can be done, we have given up too soon. THE OPPORTUNITIES TO FIND OUR ELEMENT HAPPEN THROUGHOUT OUR ENTIRE LIFE !
Think how many people left this planet thinking they had NO talent. How many people currently on this planet think they have NO talent?…Let us keep an eye open and help people recognize their OWN talent so they can share their authenticity with the world.