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WIT: A Smart Steer to Success

Employers recognize and pay us for our strengths. So being able to know “what in the world am I the best at?” allows us to maximize our potential and satisfaction.

Harvard professor Dr Howard Gardner says there are 8 types of Smarts. Look to the infographic on the right for more descriptions!

In no particular order, here goes:

  • Word-smart
  • Logic-smart
  • People-smart
  • Self-smart
  • Music-smart
  • Body-smart
  • Picture-smart
  • Nature-smart

Want to know what your Smarts are? Read on.

1. Ask: what comes naturally to you?

What do you do without thinking? What do you love? Look to your obsessions and your interests for the possibility of talent.

If you love to spend all day doodling, reading, or dancing, there’s no point in wasting time wishing you had a talent for baking. Focus on the talents you do have by focusing on what comes easiest to you.

If you’re in school, what homework comes most easily to you? What worries you the least? That might clue you in to natural talents. Pay attention to what other people might have noted about you. It’s common that others might have a keener sense of what you’re good at than you will yourself. Ask your family, your friends, and your teachers to help you figure out what you make look easy.

2. Follow your obsessions.

What are other people tired of hearing you talk about? What do you have to drag yourself away from?

Use the things you’re obsessed with to discover abilities and talents that might be hiding under the surface.

Even if you’re obsessed with something that’s hard to connect to a talent, like watching television or movies, give yourself some credit. Maybe you have a talent for telling stories, or analysing narratives. Maybe you have a talent for appreciating camera angles. Every film critic gets a start in the exact same way. Channel that obsession into learning about film history and learning how movies are made.

3. Try different things.

You can’t know if you’ve got a talent for guitar if you never try to play guitar.

And it’s the same for knitting, badminton, and singing. Find a talent that seems cool and learn everything you can about it. Find out what it takes and see what you’ve got. If you never try, you’ll never know. You’re not going to find a talent without trying. You can only find your natural abilities, skills, and talents when you test your mettle and actively seek new experiences. Face down obstacles and seek out challenges to see what innate skills and abilities you might be hiding.

Make it your goal to try something new every week. You might not discover something that you’re super-talented at, but maybe you pick up a guitar one day and find out it feels comfortable in your hands and decide to learn more. Maybe you discover an ability to connect with animals at the shelter, something you’d never experienced before. Maybe you learn you’re an ace at the Bishi Bashi gaming machine at the arcade. That’s the start of talent.

Get outside and scrape your knees. Go on adventures and experience the world in its natural habitat. Try out different sports, outdoor hobbies like fishing, hiking, and climbing to see if you’ve got an untapped natural ability or an instinct for it.

4. Try this quiz.

Excited to find out right now? While you’re here, spend a few minutes on this M.I.D.A.S. Assessment and see what you get. The answer may surprise you.

Here’s a quick read on the different ‘Smarts’ we have:

Now that you know about Wit, click on the boxes below for the rest of our career design framework – Grit and Fit.

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