What if you could help the kids in your life—your children, nieces, nephews, grandkids, students, friends—develop an awareness and appreciation of their own unique talents and skills from a young age?
What if you could help them understand that they have their very own collection of internal gifts unlike anyone else’s? What would their lives look like with this context and perspective? And if they could understand what they bring to the table and really embrace it, how would it shape their lives?
We think having this knowledge and understanding would give them a huge sense of confidence, focus, and the direction needed to make a big contribution. It would guarantee a future that would maximize their ability to lead a successful, satisfying life and have a positive impact.
Use these simple strategies to help develop and unearth the natural talents in the children in your life:
1. Explain that everyone has activities they really like doing—and that they’re also really good at.
Give kids an understanding of what natural talents are. Use language that’s appropriate for their age level and put it into perspective for them. Talk about how we all have a set of unique skills and gifts that drive us, and remind them that you don’t have to be good at everything. Talk about how they’re unique—there’s nobody else like them in the world!
Need help yourself? Our book Unique Ability 2.0: Discovery is a great resource and tool to get crystal clear on building your life around doing what you love to do and do best.
2. Reinforce and appreciate their strengths.
Ask them what they love to do and talk to them about their favorite activities. Dig a bit deeper and see if you can have them start thinking about why they like doing certain things. Ask what gives them the most energy and pleasure. Remind them that they have a special role in the world and a unique contribution to make.
Watch them closely and point out what you see. Put words around what you see them doing: “You’re so caring. I see how you helped your friend.” “You’re very handy. I see how you fixed your bike chain by yourself.” This is key to helping them develop awareness from a young age of the areas in which they strive.
3. Help them find new ways to do what they love.
Look for opportunities for them to expand their talents and strengths, or ask them to help around the house using their skills. Expose them to as many different experiences as possible, whether it’s art, sports, cooking, or music, to help them find new opportunities to pursue what they love.
4. Lead by example.
Show them what passion looks and sounds like for you. Tell them what you love doing and why you do it. Be sure to value talents and skills other than your own—not everyone will be good at the same things you are. As their role model, your actions will send a strong message.
5. Help them articulate and document their natural talents.
Give kids the words to articulate their gifts and ways to document their talents. Write things down or help them do it themselves using words, drawings, photographs, videos, or any other creative resources. This will help them see patterns and themes, over time validating the activities they’re most passionate about.
When we support the young people in our lives to follow their passions, it guarantees they’ll never lack opportunities and will constantly be growing, taking risks, creating results, and being true to themselves. These strategies ensure that children will learn first-hand what it means to lead a life of success, satisfaction, and meaningful contribution. Teach the young people around you to create their own definition of success—it’s one of the greatest gifts you can give them.
We all have a Unique Ability®—the way you create ever-evolving value in the world—but can you define yours?