Your talent is an extra dose of ability in a given area of your life. When you use it, it feels like a custom made suit, perfect for your body shape. It’s the potential which others notice in you and they comment in admiration. Your talent, however, is only the foundation from which to build something greater.
In order to develop your talent into something which is truly exceptional, something which will have a ripple effect on other people’s lives, you need to develop consistency. There are three ways in which you can add consistency to your talent:
1. Make a commitment
The mistake we make is to place the development of our talent at the bottom of our never ending to-do list. We fail to see its immediate importance because it doesn’t give us an swift return or solve our problems with immediate effect.
When we make a genuine commitment to develop, we should think long term; it’s about the journey to the moon, rather than a quick bop to the cheap Pizza shop. It’s about the expansion of our ability over time, to create and discover new realities as a result of our development.
The Law of Forced Efficiency states that there is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing. You must be convinced of it’s importance and make the decision to intentionally set aside time to grow in that area regardless of what is happening around you.
2. Schedule it in
Trainer and consultant Dru Scott Becker recommends the “Grab 15” principle. Whether you want to write a book, become a specialist in your field, or start a new business, find fifteen minutes a day and work at it. Remember, it’s not the time you spend which is significant as is the time compounded once it becomes a routine.
The schedule should detail a time and a place. This will make it easier to ritualise. For example, if you start to read fifteen minutes before you go to bed, then you will find that once the habit is established, you will begin to use even more spare moments in your day to read.
The benefit of knowing exactly when and where you will focus your talent will keep other distractions from interfering with that time. You will treat it like an other event in your calendar which you are required to attend.
Remind yourself of its importance each time you experience setbacks. Bind yourself to it and be determined to develop, regardless of the circumstances. So when you attempt to read before you go to bed and it results in only two minutes of reading coupled with streams of siliva wedged between the pages in the morning, change it to reading for fifteen minutes on the train to work.
The development of one area of your life will yield significant results if you perservere. Take Karen Cheng for instance, she always wanted to dance since she was a child, but doubted that she would be any good. So over the course of a year she filmed herself everyday practicing.
The result: she improved significantly, her video went viral on YouTube with over 4 million views. She has appeared on The Queen Latifah Show and also danced at TED X and Google I/O conferences.
Let me know an area of talent or gifting which you have decided to work on this year? I would love to hear from you. Feel free to join the discussion on Facebook or leave a comment below.
Images courtesy of bandral and jesadaphan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net