Developing Your Talents Is A Human Right

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To create a sustainable world, we need sustainable learning and working. Software engineering was my passion … until I lost it. Losing your passion for your job challenges you. Do you stay the course or do you change it. I choose the second and took on a new challenge – to found a technical training center. I could never have predicted that this switch would have a fundamental impact on my career. It went from maintainable to sustainable. The task itself also pushed me to find out what drives people to keep developing, learning and innovating.

Jef Staes, Author, Speaker and Expert on Learning Processes, Innovation and Culture Change

This article was previously published here.

And this search gave me the following insight:

“Work is only sustainable if you regain the energy you invest in it.”

In order to achieve these four conditions need to be fulfilled:

  1. Invest in your talents. This is where life really challenges us. But no one knows their talents when they are born. A talent is something in which you are naturally better than other. It is your predestination. How do you discover this?
  2. Only when you act with real passion, will you discover your talents. True passion means you are willing to suffer. Everyone should be willing to push themselves like athletes. This means pushing yourself to the limit, but also making mistakes. If you’re not willing to do this … you are faking your passion.
  3. Learning comes natural to people with passion. Learning reduces their suffering as they make less mistakes. For passionate people, today information world is a paradise. Through social media you can quickly connect to others with a similar mission. This also raises the question: “Those that aren’t making an effort to connect and learn … are they really passionate about what they do?”
  4. If it turns out that you are investing energy into skills that happen to be our talents, you’ll quickly discover that you progress faster than others. Others will compliment you and refer to you as an expert. The reward is dopamine. This feeling is addictive and will help you to push even further.

If you agree with the above, you have to face some uncomfortable facts. Too many people right now are working or studying without ever getting dopamine. This is simply unsustainable as they invest more energy than they receive.

Discovering and developing your talents – your destination – is a basic human right in my opinion. Yet too many schools and organizations aren’t built to let people work and learn in the ‘groove’ with their talents. The result is student dropouts and employee burn-out. Or people craving for their retirement.

These are an inhumane system error lays at the core of our unsustainable world.

To create a sustainable world, we need sustainable learning and working.

Jef Staes is an authority on learning processes, innovation and culture change. With 25 years of professional experience (GTE Atea / Siemens), he currently assists CEO’s and managers to find a comprehensive answer to the changing dynamics of today’s market. Jef Staes answers a crucial question: “Why don’t organisations learn and innovate fast enough?”. As an author, speaker and expert, he not only awakens people, but also presents them with a unique concept to guide them through the necessary changes. He is a passionate and inspirational keynote speaker. His story is a guaranteed eye-opener and his thoughts on the future of business and education inspire many. With striking metaphors, he tackles the most fundamental issues organisations struggle with. Follow Jef on Twitter: @jefstaes.

Copyright Jef Stes, Author, Speaker and Expert on Learning Processes, Innovation and Culture Change
Coverphoto by Anthony Ginsbrook (

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