Jim White, Ph.D. is author of What’s My Purpose? A Journey of Personal and Professional Growth. In an article on his blog, he writes about exploring our talents as a way to understand our life purpose. Here is an excerpt:
How talents and purpose relate
You can make an assessment of your abilities in order to help uncover your purpose. These gifts can be a clue to your purpose; they can help you fulfill whatever it is you believe you are here to do.
Talents might include athletic abilities, dexterity, musical talent, taste, artistic abilities, a sense of humor, comfort with numbers, and so on. Make a mental list, or write on a sheet of paper, at least five of your talents. The items on your list and the relative strength of each of them become part of what makes you unique as a person.
Talents may be hard to identify
Many people cannot identify five talents. Perhaps this is the first time you have taken the time to think about your talents. Perhaps you minimize or ignore them because they come easily to you. This is a way you diminish yourself and mask your passion.
But when something comes easily to you, this is a clue that it is one of your talents. Armed with this basic self-awareness, you can make an impact in the world.
Ask your friends for clues
Another way to get a handle on your abilities is to pick out five people who know you very well and ask them these questions:
• What do you think makes me special?
• Do you think there is anything about me that is unique?
• What are my talents?
Write down the answers they give you and compare these to your own list. Think about your skills, which are competencies that come from training, experience, or education. Take an inventory of the skills you know you have. Write them down on a sheet of paper.
Also see article: What Is Purpose?, by Jim L. White, PhD.