Leo Buscaglia, a well-known university professor,  said, “Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.” To which I will add, “as well as a gift to yourself—that is, if you use your talents in an honorable way.”

In my 85 years of life on this planet—65 of them in the workplace—I’ve met a lot of people who believe they have no special talents and conclude that this is the reason they don’t experience success. In other words, fate has dealt them a talentless hand, so what’s the use in trying? Should you find yourself in that I-have-no-talent mindset, here’s something that will help you uncover your God-given talent, find new hopes of success, and achieve it.

Talent is only discovered and set free in us when we are striving to excel in whatever task is at hand. Whether in the workplace, relationships, marriage, or any other sphere of life, talent lies dormant in the presence of mediocre effort. When I entered the workplace, I was in the habit of making just such a mediocre effort, and was soon filled with resentment and envy of all those talented and gifted folks whose success-dust I was eating. This in turn caused me to drift from mediocre to outright useless. My wake-up call came when I found myself finally out of money, out of friends to borrow from, desperate, jobless, and with holes in my shoes. It dawned on me that it was not my lack of talent but my lack of genuine effort that had brought me to this sad state of affairs. I began to realize that I was reaping what I had sowed, and that if I changed my level of input there would be a different result. It was not fate; it was me!

With new knowledge and new resolve—acquired the hard way—I gave my all to the job I eventually managed to secure. This new attitude and new all-out effort led in time to promotion after promotion, and ultimately to my own successful business. As I moved forward and upward in responsibility, I noticed a talent for leadership emerging, and other people noticed it too; and as I continued to give a whole-hearted effort to my work, I found (and was given) opportunities to use my talent and to further hone and develop it.

But my leadership talent was only found, released, and developed as a result of all-out effort. God gives all of us talents, but they remain undiscovered if there is no challenge to cause them to emerge. Only an all-out effort provides the context for a talent to become noticeable. And such an effort must start with the small things, jobs that may be seen and felt as unimportant (though there really is no such thing), before there can be any advance towards greater, more challenging, and more rewarding responsibilities. Discovery of one’s talent is the reward for pushing oneself to do one’s best. Would you give more treasure or responsibility to someone who does little with the opportunities already entrusted to them? Of course not! Neither does God. As the saying goes: “If you don’t make a good sweeper, you’ll not make a good president.”

So, to find and unlock your God-given talent(s)
give whatever your hand finds to do your absolute ALL!