Talents. Strengths. Gifts. We’ve all got them. The things about us that make us stand out in a crowd. Our brilliance. Our genius. The things we do that the people around us can’t quite figure out. Because they come so easily for us. And yet they come so hard to everyone else. That’s our Magic.
We know from Gallup and high-priced consultants and our own experience that when we focus on developing our unique brilliance we create the opportunity to really shine. And yet, so many of us struggle to do it. Uncovering our Magic is easier said than done.
The very fact that it comes so easily—is such a natural part of you and me—is what makes our Magic hard to describe. Often we don’t recognize our Magic as anything particularly remarkable. It’s like breathing. Why would anyone pay attention to how we make our hearts beat? We just do it! Or worse, our particular brand of Magic might not be all that valued within our current circles or education system. And so we’ve spent a lifetime trying to live up to someone else’s definition of genius, effectively burying our Magic deep inside.
Although we may not recognize it, or might have even buried it, our Magic is always there waiting to be used to full effect. Longing to be the unique gift we give to the world. We owe it to ourselves to uncover our Magic. And there are a few sure-fire ways to find it.
Follow the Gratitude
What do people thank you for? What are the things you do that make the people around you most grateful? Especially take note of the times when you felt you don’t deserve their thanks. The things you did that were so easy they were practically nothing. That’s a piece of your Magic.
Also pay attention to things that other people think you should be grateful for. I had a boss once tell me the biggest compliment anyone can give you is to call you lucky. It means you got something they wanted, but they can't figure out how you did it. That might just be another indicator of your Magic at work.
Follow the Energy
When are you most on fire? Excited? Enthusiastic? What activities make you feel most in flow, most in the zone? Just like waving a wand, you Magic materializes in the world with the flick of a wrist. As snap. That doesn’t mean you never have to work to accomplish your goals. You absolutely do! It does mean that you would have had to work so much harder without the help of your Magic.
Following your own enthusiasm also helps to overcome the should-noise that surrounds us all. The pretty picture of what we are supposed to do and like—painted by the people who love us with the best of intentions—hamper our ability to express our Magic. And actually, rubbing up against the expectations of others is another sure-fire way to find our Magic. It’s another type of energy to investigate. Where are you in conflict with the should-noise around you? Where are you feeling held down or unable to express yourself fully? That thing you’re holding back is another piece of your Magic.
Follow the Research
Once you’ve examined your life and noticed where you have the most energy and receive the most thanks, it might be helpful to look to professionals for additional support. Some of your Magic might not express itself in your normal day-to-day routine. There might not be an opportunity for others to thank you for it, yet. Or, worse, it might be so deeply buried or so out of phase with the expectations around you, that it is hard to even know it’s there. A professional strengths assessment can help in both cases.
There are two strengths assessment tools that I recommend to help uncover your Magic. StrengthsFinder 2.0 and StandOut 2.0 both offer unique insight into your natural talents. They are based on years of research, and millions of people have taken these assessments. The tools are continually re-validated and updated. And I have found them both to be insightful and useful as I work to uncover my own Magic.
What am I missing? I know there must be more, and I would love to hear from you! How do you uncover your magic?
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The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your Own Terms (affiliate link) by Danielle LaPorte
Mastery by Robert Greene
StandOut 2.0: Assess Your Strengths, Find Your Edge, Win at Work by Marcus Buckingham
StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath