“Mummy, what cutie mark will I have?”
“Honey, you’ve lost me…what are you talking about?”
“My little pony. All ponies are born without a cutie mark. When they find what they are good at, a special cutie mark appears here.” My daughter was staring innocently at me, pointing to her behind.
“You see Mummy; Rainbow Dash has a rainbow lighting bolt because she is faster than anyone else. Rarity has diamonds because she is very fancy and designs all their fabulous costumes.”
“And Mummy do you know how Pinkie pie got her cutie mark? She used to live on this boring farm and never used to smile then one day she saw a rainbow and smiled. From that moment, she wanted to make people happy.
“Mummy, when will I know what I’m good at? When will my cutie mark appear?”
I stopped for a moment.
My 6-year-old daughter was talking about My Little Pony. But what I heard was a completely different conversation. Something that even so few adults understand.
How to find your true calling and live a life of purpose?
In fact, over the years, its one of the biggest requests I have from private coaching clients.
So many are searching for this magical moment.
But I like to start with a much more practical approach. What is your talent?
It’s the worlds most frequently asked interview question. Think about any interview you have ever been on and chances are, they would have asked you that question in some shape or form.
The honest truth, most people will talk about things they have learnt specific to the job. For example, an Accountant will talk about how they are great with excel. But dig deeper, why are they so good on excel? What is it that drives that talent?
Perhaps it’s analytical; they have the unique ability to question and challenge. They throw themselves into data because there is no agenda. They search for patterns, connections, anything to make sense of it. Essentially they peel back the layers revealing the cause. Excel is only the tip of what they do. It’s the tool they use to do what they do best.
Perhaps you say you are great at sales. But why are you so good? Is it because you are intuitive and possess the unique ability to see each person as an individual. It’s crystal clear to you. You see what motivates people, how they think, what is important to them. Because of this talent, you can tailor your sales pitch to meet the specific needs of the individual, and that’s why you are great at sales.
It’s not what you are good at, its why you are good at it. And don’t for a minute think your talents are bound to your job function. That is only one way that your talent displays itself. Your talent oozes through every inch of your being. No matter what career choices you make, your talent will reveal itself.
Take me for example. As a child, I have this distinct memory of gathering a group of kids from Sunday School. Inspired by the Baby Sitter Club books, I decided to form the Best Friends Club. Naturally, as self-elected president, it was my role to connect and match the best friends.
Fast forward, another 15 or so years and what was I doing with my talent? I was forging a career as a professional recruiter, matching talented candidates to jobs. I evolved my talent, developing it for the corporate world, learning new ways of harnessing it. And now, two years into starting Accelus, the question I am asking myself is how am I harnessing my talent? What ways will I expand it this year?
Your talent is begging to be to set free. It doesn’t want to be confined to a box or a job. It wants the opportunity to explore, expand and engage.
It’s one thing to recognise your talent. Most people stop right there. But I ask you, what happens when you throw your energy and resources developing it, refining it, growing it? Only then you will find your competitive edge, and start to uncover your true calling.
But, today let’s start first with finding your cutie mark.
Curated for you: The key to your limitless potential
If you want to take the next step in your career and discover your competitive edge, then hire a career coach. We work to help uncover your potential and help you to love the work you do.