Finding your unique gift is as simple as identifying the intersection of your natural interests, the thing at which you are most successful, and what brings you the greatest sense of purpose in life. Whatever that is, you should be doing it all the time.
If you study successful people, you will discover that many of them somehow found that “thing” early in life. Warren Buffet picked his first stock as a young boy. Something about that process felt very “right” to him and he has been true to his gift all these years.
First, what are your natural interests? Your interests have likely been the same since you were quite young. Notice how some children seem to love physical activity, some are quiet and pensive, others are social creatures who love interacting with others. What have you always been interested in? You may work in an office but have always delighted in tending a beautiful garden. You may edit technical documents but love watercolor painting. When people aren’t expressing their true gifts in their work, those gifts often appear in their extracurricular activities such as their hobbies and clubs.
Second, where are you easefully successful? Most people are pretty good at more than one thing but may have the capability to be exceptional at only one. If you trace your successes throughout your lifetime, you may begin to see a pattern that hints at your unique gift. Have you always been naturally skilled at seeing the connection between seemingly random things? Have you always had an “artistic” eye that is drawn to colors, textures, and patterns? Does the structure of things like grammar come to you easefully? At what subjects in school did you excel? At what tasks have supervisors commented on your competence?
Finally, what gives your life meaning? Work that feels meaningless will kill your soul. Over time, it will lead to resentment and a deadening of your heart. To find that which brings meaning to your life, notice the reason you are attracted to the things you do. You may go to work because you need to make a living, but you lead a scout troop because you feel good about yourself for contributing to the lives of young people. Or you volunteer at a food bank because you like the sense of purpose you get from helping people less fortunate than yourself. Whatever gives you meaning says something about your uniqueness.
Now try putting the three together. What could you do with your life that would use your natural interests, allow you to do what comes easefully and successfully to you, and will fill your life with a sense of purpose? It might not be a specific job as much as it is a role. You might discover something like, “I seem to love and be naturally gifted at teaching people new skills that make them successful.” That being the case, you might be a natural parent, teacher, coach, or manager. Which of these roles seems to best fit you and your current life? Can you try to one, even on a volunteer basis, to discover how well it fits you? This is a journey well worthy of your time and effort.