One of the reasons we don't delve more into our own self discovery more is that we feel it may be too time consuming and difficult to really find the answers about ourselves that we are looking for. While I do think that this process is an ongoing process that does not happen over night, there are some things that you can today that are simple ways to indentify what you do best.
If you haven't done a Kolbe report, now is the time to get it done. It costs around $50 and tells you a lot about how you approach tasks. For instance if you are someone who doesn't like to attain a lot of facts to make decision, being an analyst is probably not a good job for you. In any event the report will help you identify how you see things, how much information you need and how hands on you like to be in working on projects.
Unique Ability is a book that looks to help you identify what abilities that you have that are unique. The reality is that any one ability is not unique but when you put all of the different abilities together, you get a unique group of abilities. The exercise that I really like in this book is the exercise where you send an e-mail out to 8-12 people that you know through work, family, friendships etc and get their feedback on what they see as your talents. This exercise is a great tool to get a feel for how you have created value for others and to start identifying specific patterns in the answers that you receive.
This is another book about identifying your strengths. The people at the Gallup Organization have identified 37 core strengths. After you read the intro chapters of the book, you then take an online assessment that they give you to help you identify your top 5 strengths. One thing that I really like about how they present the information is that they give real world examples of what your gift looks like through other's experiences in a wide range of different industries.
This is another online assessment that you can take that helps you identify specific information about your personality. The methodology is proven and gives you 16 distinct personality traits to fall into. Why is this important? I will give you an example using my own experience. My personality type is ENTJ. For me I don't typically use a lot of feelings to make decisions and have very little patience for those that do. Because of my personality type, I would make a terrible nurse. I would also be terrible at social work as well. Using this resource to understand our personality helps us identify what environments we would thrive in.
Those are 4 simple tasks that can get you well on your way to better self knowledge and help you along the path to utilizing your gifts for a greater purpose. The above methods don't solve everything but they definitely are a quick way to get you going on the path.