talentless?

wpid-2015-04-18-20-03-376In fourth grade, we were introduced to band class. I desperately wanted to play an instrument. Like more than you could even imagine. I didn’t even care what it was… anything! So before I could start my musical career, we needed to be tested on our skill levels. We all entered into the gym and visited various stations and each student was evaluated to determine if they were musically-inclined. I struggled and failed at each station and was rejected as a future musician. Instead, I was forced to be in the “non-band” class. No joke, it was either you were in band, or some random class where you had to do miscellaneous school work and/or play heads up seven up.

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From that point forward, I always felt a little struggle with identifying my talents. I was awesome in school but being great at schoolwork is not a talent, it’s just doing what you’re told. I always associated talent with some outside activity like dance or singing or something you would see on Miss America.

Unfortunately as I grew up, my greatest talent was being able to roll my tongue into different positions. Given that I’m sort of tongue-tied… I guess that’s a pretty awesome talent… but it doesn’t get you the crown. I asked Erin what my special talent could be and he said I’m really good at stepping on people’s backs. So I guess I have that going for me.

I guess if I had to think of a “talent”, it would be my ability to listen and learn. It doesn’t sound like much of a talent, more like a skill, but hear me out. This ability to just observe has allowed me to understand new concepts rapidly and react to any situation easily. I listen to everything – verbal and nonverbal. When you listen, you learn so much. People love to share and teach. They want to be heard. If you listen carefully without judgement, you can see their true self. Listening to others is the single most important lesson I’ve learned in my life – both personally and professionally.

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I am also really good at reading people and predicting reactions. Now, I’m not saying I’m psychic… because that’s crazy… but I’m telling you, listening is key. I can easily identify strengths of others, and their weaknesses, just from a short conversation (or even from just briefly watching them). It doesn’t sound like a huge talent but it’s something I use every day. I have definitely been wrong a couple of times but for the most part, I’m spot on.

So those are my big talents. I can roll my tongue, crack people’s backs and I listen. #lifewin

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