As we’ve led Take Charge of Your Talent workshops over the years, we’ve compiled several thousand Talent Opportunity Profiles. These profiles are simple charts that look like this:
Next ask yourself, “What’s my current level of personal satisfaction?” That’s right; give it a number from 0 to 100.
What do you notice? Are the numbers similar or even the same?
The vast majority of responders report that their talent usage and personal satisfaction numbers are very close. We’re not asserting cause and effect; we simply don’t have the science to prove that. You probably know from your personal experience, however, that when you use more of your talent you enjoy greater personal satisfaction.
Now, we would like to raise this inquiry to a higher level. What would be different in our world if human beings were using their talent more fully and feeling a deeper sense of personal satisfaction? Would there be less violence, fewer addictions, and a drop in racism, sexism, and hate?
The 2002 Movie Max is an historical fiction that explores the question of what might have happened if Adolph Hitler had been successful in expressing himself as a painter. It tells the story of Hitler’s post WWI’s challenge to find himself as he is torn between a supportive Jewish art dealer and those who want him to declare his allegiance to an anti-Semitic cause. We know the choice that was made and, to state the obvious, it did not turn out well.
And yet, the question remains. Could greater use of our talent and an increase in personal satisfaction be useful ingredients in the creation of better, more harmonious relationships at a personal, cultural, and global level?
Imagine if people coming out of prison used their well-honed talent in ways that are more constructive. Consider how people using their talent to create greater opportunities for all could reduce divisive politics and conflicts based on fighting over the distribution of limited opportunities.
Would more use of your talent help you be a greater and more satisfied contributor in your work, family, and community? You’ll have to answer that for yourself. But from where we sit, it couldn’t hurt.