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4 Signs Of Giftedness

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Are you gifted, or do you think someone near you could be gifted? I have identified four key traits that you can find in a gifted person. It was said by Albert Einstein that he had no special gifts, he was just insatiably curious. But isn’t that a gift in itself?

When we say gift, we assume it is something we were given, perhaps it was written in our DNA, or maybe, we cultivated it over time, but it is a gift, no matter how it was acquired. These traits all contribute to your well-being and functioning. They are actively helping you increase the likelihood of success at work, in relationships, and in your personal life.

So what are the four signs of giftedness?

  1. Curiosity: Being curious and attentive to what is happening around you, as well as in the world at large.
  2. Sensitivity: Being able to see the world in more rich color, meaning, and depth. Being able to read a lot into small subtleties in your environment.
  3. Resilience: Being able to endure hardship and difficulty and to work through negative emotions, to know how to effectively manage your mood.
  4. Focus: Being able to sit down for long durations of time and to skillfully manage your concentration. To organize and prioritize your thoughts and attention to your goals and tasks at hand.

Let’s go more in depth into what these traits are and how you can see them in your own life.

Signs of Giftedness

Let’s explore the four signs of giftedness more in depth.

1. How To Become Curious

The more novel or unfamiliar a subject is, the more complex it becomes. When people feel something becomes too complicated, they can tune out or lose energy quickly, as it takes a lot of energy and time for their brain to unpack and understand the message. A person with high curiosity, however, has a higher tolerance for complexity and novelty.

They can remain in a positive, fresh mental state, for a longer amount of time, even when dealing with high level tasks with high complexity. As a teacher, if you share a lot of information with your students, and speak in a quick pace, you can find that students eyes become glazed and they become less attentive, but some students stay perked up and cheerful. Some even become more excited. Curious people require more complexity and more novelty to maintain a positive, stimulated state of mind, or they become bored or disinterested in the activity.

Curiosity then is nurtured by routinely challenging yourself to study higher level tasks. Try to remain in the sweet spot where you don’t feel overwhelmed or exhausted, but also, avoid boring yourself. Think about the task at hand and how you can keep a task both fun and manageable.

Signs of giftedness: Gifted people tend to be more curious on average, meaning they often talk faster, learn more quickly, and read and comprehend information at a higher level than normal.

2. How To Be Sensitive

How sensitive are you to a persons tone? And how easy is it for you to read another persons body language? What do you feel if you look at a painting? If you would sit down and write all the thoughts that come up from listening to a song, what things would you be able to notice in the singers voice, the lyrics?

Signs of giftedness: Sensitive people perceive the world in higher depth than average. This allows them, like master detectives, to puzzle out hidden information that other people might miss. Because of this, sensitive people, especially when emotionally in tune, are often more empathetic than others. They can effectively read your mood and can think of small and simple, nuanced things they can say or do, to help you feel better.

You can practice sensitivity by practicing mindfulness. For example, look around you and think about what is happening in your environment, and how you feel about your surroundings. Check in with your body and listen to your feelings.

3. How To Be Resilient

Resilience is the gifted counterpart to sensitivity. A person can be sensitive, and not gifted, or resilient, but not sensitive. But true resilience is about how strong you can be even in the face of strong negative emotions. How easy is it to manage your mood, even when you experience highly turbulent situations? To explain better. Who is more courageous, a person who is afraid, but chooses to be brave, or a person who isn’t scared at all? Resilience reflects your ability to manage emotions, and so, a person can be detached, but not be resilient.

The ancient stoics knew how important resilience was as a trait, but their strongest advocates were highly empathetic, sensitive individuals, who often, in their writing, expressed deep and rich emotions. So be a vulnerable stoic, and learn to use emotions. Emotions are information. Those who do not feel emotions, and do not reflect on their environments, are not much different to bulldozers. A gifted person deals with complex situations using complex methods.

The key to staying centred

Signs of giftedness: With resilience, we can see how a person is able to stay emotionally centered and calm, even if they are struggling, or even if they are in a tumultuous situation. Practice to, even in loud or stressful environments, try to find your zen and centre. Recognize that if you stay connected to yourself, nothing can really knock you down. Learn that even if you experience high pain, or negativity, you can still survive and thrive, as long as you are doing something that feels meaningful. To cultivate resilience, you often need a goal or something that feels important to you. It should feel important enough that you are prepared to fight for it, both in times of rain and sunshine.

Signs of giftedness 4: How To Be Focused

Often, you can be attentive, but struggle to focus, or, you can be good at focus, while lacking attention. When we say a person is attentive, but unfocused, we can often speak of an attention disorder. Such a person often displays high energy and restlessness, but an inability to really focus or break down complex information. They might bounce from activity to activity, but feel unable to really comprehend or process the information they receive. Imagine jumping from one situation to the next, but never knowing how to pay attention to what is at hand. Often, when something feels complex, we give up, and change the subject or move on to something else. So especially the person with high attention but low focus.

Signs of giftedness: A person with high focus on the other hand, is a person who can sit down and stare at a task, or look at a problem for a long time, without giving up, even if they have not thought of or realized any apparent solution. If they lack attention, however, this focus can look a lot like tunnelvision. The person can effectively ignore any outside information or distraction, but is also impervious to outside feedback and help. Such a person is effectively repeating the same information in their own head, over and over again, the information burnt into their retina.

The key to persistence in studies

A gifted person, though, is a master of both attention and focus. They can hone in to a task, and even if presented with new information, can decide whether it is relevant, and find ways to creatively apply it to the problem they are working on. Such a person is capable of switching between multiple tasks, but also, of keeping attention to the most important issues. This allows a person to sit through and read a nonfiction book for hours, keeping notes of anything important, and can afterwards recall and memorize different things from the book when prompted. Their high attention allows them to quickly jump from page to page, while their focus allows them to retain and recall specific tidbits shared in the book.

You can develop focus by trying to use techniques like pomodoro, elliminating outside distractions, fighting back against screen time, and using books and tools to help boost your concentration. Instead of telling yourself not to look at the phone, schedule in screen time for certain hours, and tell yourself you are only allowed to engage in distracting stimulation after a certain time period. Also pay attention to your current level of focus. How focused are you right now? Where is your mind? Where do your thoughts go? Meditation can help you with this.

The Giftedness Spectrum

And so, you can imagine what kind of a person is able to combine these four traits. First, let us recognize that there are levels to all of this, meaning, we can all use these traits to a point. Instead, imagine a level scale.

Level 1 Gifted

Can maintain concentration for on average 20-50 minutes, without needing a break, for up to 2-3 hours a day. The rest of the time is essentially “waste” time, which leads to little real productivity. Can read a couple of pages per minute. Able to manage some minor distractions and sounds without losing focus. Can make some basic level deductions about the text they read or the seminar they listened to. This is beyond what was explained at the time. Has some ability to discipline themselves to not eat sweets, look at their phone, etcetera.

Level 2 Gifted

Able to focus perhaps 30-60 minutes without needing a break, for between 3-4 hours. Can focus through noise and distraction up to a point. Able to give some deeper analysis of the reading or listening material. Above average ability to discipline themselves and follow through on goals and personal principles.

Level 3 Gifted

Able to focus for up to 70 minutes without breaks, up to 5-6 hours. Can read and comprehend complex instructions quickly, and can provide deep feedback on the contents. Highly effective at managing their own mood and feelings.

The numbers are not exact, I just want to show how signs of giftedness can show up in levels. It’s not an either-or black and white situation.

The four signs of giftedness

Essentially, these are things anyone can work at, but do not expect quick progress. It takes time and persistence to really progress through these tasks. Most people are only able to do this to an extent. But even a gradual 10-20% improvement, can lead to a significant improvement overall. It is also important to recognize crystallized intelligence in this discussion. You can possess a low attention. But through your life, and education, you have gained high familiarity and pre-existing experience across a field. This helps you manage these tasks better, too.

Having a strong pre-existing emotional support structure, helps you build resilience and character. Being able to have good routines and good calendar management, helps you maintain focus. Having time for fine arts, music, and relaxation, helps you nurture healthy sensitivity. Don’t just practice your ability to improve these traits. Also, work on building a healthy lifestyle for yourself, so that you can pursue these things in a sustainable manner.

Read more:

5 Ways Gifted People Exhaust Themselves

The 16 personalities when gifted

Let me know what you think in the comments below, and thank you so much for reading!


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