What are natural talents?

Uncovering Your Innate Talents & Abilities

What the heck are natural talents? The conventional notion of natural ability is that only a small number of people are “talented” or “gifted.” A newer, more accurate model of intelligence is that all people have a “set” of inborn talents. We are all “smart,” just in different ways. A good analogy for how our cognitive talents work is a sound-mixing board with 16 channels. The typical human brain comes with a stock set of aptitudes that are wired in, where each aptitude is like a single channel on our brain’s talent mixing board. They mystery that makes us unique is in how our various aptitudes and traits combine to form our natural talents.

What makes each of us different as individuals is the varying “level” or strength of each aptitude. Your particular “mix” or combination of aptitude and trait levels is what makes you a distinct person with your own natural abilities. For instance, a combination of two, three, or four of your stronger aptitudes and traits can work in unison to form a natural talent for “diagnosing spatial problems.” Specific career fields that engage 3-D problem solving will come more naturally to you.

So, how do you figure out what your “hidden” natural talents are? Schools and colleges aren’t measuring our inborn nature, our culture and educational system doesn’t have a language for innate ability or “naturalness.” In fact, everyone’s talking about the opposite of natural talent or “grit,” which is the nurture camp’s success formula—to overcome your weaknesses with hard work. And while we can improve our weaknesses to some degree, no one is warning students that it’s no fun to spend your life swimming against the stream of who you are.

Just imagine if we taught students to “grit at what you’re naturally good at.” Boy would the world be a much happier place.


Audio Intro: Different Ways to be Smart

If you’re new to the concept of “natural talent,” you’re definitely not alone. Very few schools are even trying to uncover natural talents. Even top universities and colleges are far behind in adopting this new science, so they don’t have a tool kit to help you. As it stands, most college career centers are practically useless at helping students uncover who they are.

Pathfinders has been fascinated by this problem for three decades. We’re among just a few experts in the world who know how to measure a comprehensive set of talents. We use a battery of “performance tests” (that have a game-like, logic puzzle feel) that scientifically measure your inborn talents by directly engaging your aptitudes, creative abilities and personality traits. Our aptitude assessment tool is very powerful and is a key part of our Careerfinder program, which combines testing and coaching to guide your hero’s adventure to uncover your unique natural talent profile.


The biggest secret of all . . .

All of us have the complete set of essential brain gears or aptitude “potentials” that govern how we perceive, think and understand the world; every human mind comes stock with the same fundamental hardware. What makes as really good at certain things is our particular mix of strengths and weaknesses.

Our brain’s unique mix of natural abilities is just as varied as a our physical attributes. For example, we can glean some insights into cognitive talents by observing how physical talents operate; it’s obvious we all have varying abilities in the sports domain. Although we’re born the same basic equipment (two arms, two legs, etc), we’re clearly suited to do better in some sports and not in others. Science physiologists who study excellence in sports performance found that the olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps was born with extra large hands, feet, short legs relative to his torso length, and above average lung capacity. His combination of physical talents give him the profile of the perfect speed swimmer, his body is like a “human canoe,” which made it enjoyable for him to practice mastering his sport for decades. Anecdotally, we know there’s a spectrum of natural talents across the sports world, but most schools don’t think of brain smarts in the same, highly diversified way.


Secret to reaching your potential

For both mind and body, honing your natural talents with lots of practice makes perfect. Your talents are “raw” potentials until you challenge and gradually develop them. The stuff that comes naturally to you will be enjoyable to learn and master. The key point here is that people who can “sustain” their motivation and drive for decades are constantly engaging and stretching their stronger, natural potentials. This explains why interests that are not rooted in your stronger innate talents and traits tend to fade over time.


What aptitudes does the test measure?

The program features a very comprehensive aptitude and personality testing instrument that measures a battery of 16 innate abilities and traits (including your personality type). There are only a few professional organizations in the world that offer career testing at this level of sophistication, and Pathfinders is out in front.

Our Careerfinder programs includes the following set of talents and traits. Each talent or ability is professional measured with a timed cognitive performance test as part of our top-rated natural ability battery:

  1. Tribal ↔ Maestro — Social Orientation Continuum
  2. Extrovert ↔ IntrovertPersonality Characteristic Continuum
  3. Spatial → Tangible → Non-spatial — 3D – Concrete – Conceptual
  4. Diagnostic Reasoning — Inductive problem solving
  5. Analytical, Logical Reasoning — Deductive problem solving
  6. Rate of Idea Flow — Speed of idea generation and concentration
  7. Visualizing Possibilities — Forethought, visual imagination
  8. Visual Dexterity — Eye for detail & work time-frame horizon
  9. Associative Memory — Language Memory
  10. Number Memory — All-purpose Memory
  11. Design Memory — Visual Memory
  12. Manual Speed, Accuracy — Finger and hand agility (musicians, surgeons, dentists, etc)
  13. Personality Temperament — NF, NT, SF, ST
  14. Personality Type Indicator — ENFP, INFP, INTP, INTJ, etc
  15. Personality Group — Introverted Maestro, Extroverted Tribal, etc
  16. Talent Ballpark — Spatial NF, Non-spatial NT, etc


What do I get from the program?

The outcome of Careerfinder aptitude assessment and consultation is your natural talent profile and highly customized recommendations of several well-suited career paths for your unique combination of abilities.

This program includes a 1.5-hour talent profile consultation with a highly experienced career consultant, Anthony Spadafore, co-author of Now What? and leader in the aptitude testing field. You would work directly with Anthony to discuss your natural talent and personality mix, as well as your overall career situation and aspirations.

What our clients are saying

Our clients tell us they had lots of fun learning how to navigate the career world using their abilities and traits, and many say the finally feel completely understood. Some clients tell us stories of how their new self-knowledge gave them the confidence to optimize their relationships in other areas of their life (finding the love of your life gets easier too!). The Careerfinder programs will help you drastically narrow the swing on the compass needle to the direction that is your own true north. After working with us, many delighted highly educated adults say it feels amazing to know who they are and what they’re best at.

Knowing what career fields you’re cut out for begins with discovering your innate mix of talents and natural abilities. The 1 in 10 who are masterful at what they do have one thing in common, they are practicing and pushing their natural gifts to reach their full potential.