What’s Your Secret Talent?

What's your secret talent - Samantha Leith

Today I have a question for you. What is your secret talent? Your secret sauce?

What is that secret something that keeps you feeling alive and makes you happy?

For me it’s singing. I started singing when I was very young and had my first paid gig when I was 7 years old. I joined the Australia Opera Children’s Chorus, did lots of musical theatre, joined bands and eventually landed in piano bars, which I loved. Me, a piano and 100 people watching me tell stories and singing songs.

I loved it and felt alive and happy when I was singing, but in my mid-20s I listened to everyone who told me that I needed something sensible to fall back on. So I studied business, accounting, sales and when I had Elodie at 31, I let go of a lot of my music other than the odd wedding or party.

When my Mum dies I got itchy feet for singing again and so I dipped my toes again, just a little bit. Then last year I was fortunate enough to be cast on All Together Now and that has put me back into this singing world.

What’s the point of all of this? The point is that when I’m singing, I’m a better person. There’s more happiness and vibrancy in my life because I get to sit at my piano practicing music. Music, singing especially is my secret something.

The question now is, what’s yours?

What is the one thing that lights your soul on fire? Did you have something you did as a child or when you were younger that you love and miss? Or think about sometimes? Or, is there something you’ve always wanted to try?

So often your secret sauce, secret talent, secret something is going to be something creative. I’ve seen so many clients and friends who were encouraged to do something creative and ended up happier for it. Whether it’s burlesque, cooking, dancing, drawing, ceramics or cake decorating. It could be anything! You don’t have to try and make a dollar out of it and don’t even have to show anyone what you’re doing. It’s just the act of doing it that makes the change.

So start now. Write down some ideas or if you have a small inkling of what it could be, start with 10 minutes a day. Even beginning to figure out how to start will invigorate you and make you feel better. Remember we all start somewhere, but just starting will make you happier and feed your soul.

We’re all better when we have that little secret something in our lives that’s just for us. So what’s yours? It’s time to find out.

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Living A Passionate Life

Living A Passionate Life - Samantha Leith

It sounds obvious to say that being clear on your passions is important in life and yet many people lead lives sadly devoid of passion. And we’re not always talking about the kinky kinds of passions (although that can definitely be something to include on the passion list). We’re talking about anything that drives and inspires you.

Much of what I am discussing here is drawn from a book that changed my life called The Passion Test by Janet Attwood. It’s authentic and simplistic, but also presents a system to discovering your passions and I highly recommend it.

You can find out more here

Here I am discussing some of my main takeaways from the book and how I utilize it to ensure that I am keeping my life and business on track and always working towards my passions.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO DISCOVER WHAT YOUR PASSIONS ARE?

It’s important to know your passions because we always want to be moving towards the things that bring us joy, animate us, make us happy, excite us and drive us to success. A life where you’re aimlessly punching in and out of your days without purpose can be pretty sad. Why not work towards something that will ultimately make you happier.

PASSIONS CAN BE SIMPLISTIC

Passions don’t have to always be intensely deep and meaningful; it can be something as simple as hanging out with your kids or old friends. If spending time with your friends is a passion but you’re slogging away for 80-hours a week, then this could be pretty difficult to find time. If you’re also not particularly excited about that job you’re working hard at, you’ll quickly fall into a slump. Knowing that your friends are your priority might lead you to change jobs, change careers and ultimately be happier.

PASSIONS CHANGE OVER TIME

This is important. What drives you in your 20s, at the start of your career, at the start of your relationships, friendships etc. is not the same as what will inspire you in your 30’s, 40’s, 50’s. It’s interesting, but it makes sense that your passions will change, especially as you experience big life events. I retake the passion test every 1-2 years and this year one of my passions changed, which is significant.

So if you’re someone who knows about this book and has taken the test, revisit your passions, revisit the test and ask yourself if your passions are the same of if they’re changing.

KNOWING YOUR PASSIONS MAKES BEING YOU EASIER

It is much, much, much easier to be yourself when you know what your passions are. We so often wonder what defines us and it really should be the things which make us want to work hard; be it family, building a business, giving back to the community, travelling the world first class, working in the garden, learning Tik Tok dance moves or all of the above. This is particularly important in professional settings because so many people work in jobs they’re not particularly passionate about. We spend a lot of time at work and it’s pretty bleak to consider all that time going towards something which isn’t leading us to a passion.

PASSIONS MAKE DECISIONS EASIER

As a Gemini, decisions don’t come easily to either of my personalities so when I can make a decision easily, it usually comes down to something I’m passionate about. Once you know your passions, all you have to do is ask yourself whether any decision is leading you towards or away from your passions. It can be an invite, a meeting, job opportunity, date, weekend away or even restaurant choice. Does it lead you towards or away from your passions?

Maybe you’re really passionate about supporting local business. This will influence where you buy the furniture you use to decorate your house and you’ll feel happier and more satisfied whenever you look around your home.

IDENTIFYING CLEAR PASSIONS HELPS YOU TO SET GOALS

Once you know your passions, goal setting also becomes easy. You can really drill down on the types of goals that will lead you to your passions. If you are someone who wants a beautiful home, you first need a house deposit, so you make savings goals and you’re off.

Once your goal is set, your intentions become clear. Your intentions are the steps you need to take to achieve your goals. This will help you to take pressure off the goal itself. In my house-buying example, your intention is to save money. So you don’t have the pressure of needing $200,000 immediately, but you might need to change some lifestyle habits to save a bit more money every month. Your intentions allow you to do the work to achieve your goals and lead you to your passions.

CLEAR PASSIONS MAKE FOR A BLOODY GOOD LIFE

There’s a great saying about being clear on your passions:

“Whenever you’re faced with a decision, choice, or an opportunity, choose in favour of your passions”

This sums it up for me. What a great way to lead life.

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