Dreading Sundays Part 2: How to Grow Your Talent

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I recently spoke at a team retreat, and the retreat center was out in the middle of nowhere in southern Indiana.  I thought surely I was lost as I kept driving these winding, long uphill roads.  I had to pay attention to every turn.   

Finally, until after several miles of white-knuckle driving,  I came upon Wooden Glen (by the way, I HIGHLY recommend this place).

It reminded me of a quote I heard at a recent talk John Maxwell said: “Success is uphill all the way.” So it is with growing your talents.
You were born with talents. You have certain abilities and strengths that make you unique. One of the great journeys of this life is the discovery of one’s talents. However, discovering your talent is only one leg of the journey. Believing in and growing your talent separates you from the crowd.
All of us have areas of strength. Do you use yours to its highest and best use? The process is not easy, but it is simple. 

If you want to be at your best, it takes 3 steps:                                                 
1.Discovering your talents.
2.Believing in your talents.
3.Growing your talents.
In this post, I am assuming you already have some insights as to what your talents are. The real question then becomes: “Where do I go from here?” I have just a few tips to offer you.
Be willing to put yourself out there. No one ever accomplished anything great who hid their talents. In fact, many believe that you can lose them if you do not use them. It requires courage for you to put yourself out there. You may receive criticism. You might be told you are not good enough. However, accepting feedback, taking courage and making adjustments when needed is where the successful live.
Learn from each experience along the way. Never de-value any milestone, setback, or goal. Do not have your eyes so set on the end goal that you miss the little things along the way. While on our Applachain trail hike, we walked past cool rocks, interesting creatures, and amazing trees. There are so many advantages to slowing down and taking in where you are in the moment.
All successful people have failures. Have you noticed a common thread among successful people? They didn’t always get it right all of the time. Working in your strength areas is not a gurantee for success. However, that is okay.    As Zig Ziglar often says, “Failure is not a person, it is an event.” Along our hike, we also saw interesting shiny rocks called “Fool’s Gold.” On the path to success, you will leave behind fool’s gold. Things you thought would lead to success, but they just didn’t work out. No worries. It is just a part of the journey.
Write about your successes. What we don’t write down, we often miss. One of the best ways to grow your talent is through journaling. Journaling allows you to slow down, think about what you have done, and get clarity for the future.  
Set 90 day goals to improve your focus. A great way to make sure you are actively engaging your talents is to set short-term goals. For me, 90 day goals work best. Each quarter of the year, I set a few goals I want to accomplish in the next 90 days. This gives me laser focus on an obtainable goal that has a deadline.

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