What Is Giftedness?

What Is Giftedness?

Giftedness is the unique way in which you function. It’s the inborn core strengths and natural motivation you instinctively and consistently use to do things that you find satisfying and productive. Your giftedness is not just what you can do, but what you were born to do, enjoy doing, and do well.

While other factors such as IQ, personality, environment, and upbringing certainly play a role in shaping your life, giftedness expresses your essential personhood—what makes you you and sets you apart from everyone else. You’re not just a “type” of person. You’re one of a kind!

But here’s the irony: it’s almost impossible for you to figure out what your giftedness is on your own. Not because you’re not bright or you lack insight, but because you live inside your skin. When you use your giftedness, you don’t think about using it, you just use it. You don’t notice that you’re using it. It doesn’t seem remarkable. Indeed, you wouldn’t think of doing life any other way.

In order to discover your giftedness, someone from the outside has to hold up a mirror so that you can see yourself in action. This is what we do at Global Centre for Giftedness. We show you your giftedness, and then we celebrate it, because it describes the very best of who you are!

Once we know what your giftedness is, we can help you use it to make life and career decisions that make sense for you, given who you are. The result is personal and professional success and satisfaction.

Isn’t giftedness about having some unusual talent or ability?

People commonly describe those who display unusual talent as “gifted” people—for example, the “gifted” athlete, the “gifted” musician, the “gifted” actress, etc. But that’s not what we mean by giftedness.

Giftedness is actually common and universal. No, not everyone performs at a “world-class” level. But everyone exhibits a pattern of behavior that is unique to them. That pattern is expressed even in the everyday, mundane affairs of life, such as what they wear, who they associate with, what kind of car they drive, who they vote for, what their religious convictions are (if any), what they watch on TV or dial up on the Web, etc.

Giftedness is not for a fortunate few. It’s universal. It’s part of the human condition. By identifying a given person’s giftedness, we bring to light what that person does best and is most motivated to do. Then we can help them craft life and career directions that fit who they are.

How does your view of giftedness compare with “gifted and talented” programs in schools?

The term “giftedness” as we use it does not mean the same thing as “gifted and talented.” Many schools assess certain children to be exceptional learners and provide them with enhanced learning opportunities, called “talented and gifted” (TAG) programs or “gifted and talented education” (GATE or G/T).

We’re all for TAG, GATE, or G/T endeavors. But we find that all children, regardless of IQ or any other scale of functioning, possess their own unique pattern of motivated behavior, which we call their giftedness.

A person may function at a very low level of what is called “intelligence.” But giftedness is not about intelligence. It’s about motivation and behavior. Even the most compromised human being will display a bent toward a particular way of “doing life.”

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