Additional Pointers for Coming Up With Giftedness Stories


Think in terms of active accomplishments, not experiences.

Experiences happen to you. Giftedness Stories involve something you actually did, and you’re able to describe the key details of what you did and how you did what you did.

Not:  I had a wonderful time touring through Europe.

But:  While touring through Europe, I made a point to visit art museums to see how many originals I could see that are listed in the book, Great Art Treasures of the World.


Think in terms of specific activities, not milestone achievements.

Milestones are life events that mark a culmination of factors that have brought you to that moment in time. Giftedness Stories are specific activities you did to accomplish something that turned out to be important to you.

Not:  I graduated from high school.

But:  In my senior year of high school, I did a science project that won second place in the state competition.


Think in terms of things you've actually done, not labels that characterize you.

Labels are generic descriptors for a style of behavior. Giftedness Stories are activities you can support with specific examples.

Not:  I’m good at solving problems.

But:  As manager of my department, I noticed a slowdown in our process and set up a new system that flows more efficiently.


Think in terms of activities that you genuinely enjoyed, whether or not they involved "success."

Giftedness is not about winning and coming out on top. Success is fine, and if you have activities where you succeeded and felt a great deal of satisfaction from doing that, then those would qualify as Giftedness Stories. But Giftedness Stories don’t have to be about winning. They only need to be about activities you took satisfaction from doing. Coming out ahead may not have been the point.


•  I collected coins.

•  I learned how to change the spark plugs and oil in my car, which gave me a great sense of independence.

• I figured out how to transpose a piece of music from B-flat to C in the middle of a band concert.

• I coached a new person at our company, with the result that she made partner faster than anyone had ever done so before.

• I perfected a recipe for pumpkin bundt cake that all my neighbors ask me for whenever we approach Halloween and Thanksgiving.


In addition, Giftedness Stories don’t have to be. . .

• dramatic or impressive. What matters is that the activity was satisfying to you.


• I learned to tie my shoes when I was four.

• I sat in a forest one afternoon and memorized a bird call until I could whistle it perfectly.

• I taught my daughter to drive.


• about awards, promotions, or notoriety of any kind. Maybe no one but you knew about your accomplishment.


• I took this incredible photograph of a single snowflake.

• I wired up our home audio system and linked it to the computers.

• I travelled to Spain one summerand walked The Way of Saint James pilgrimage by myself.


• about happy things. Some people find satisfaction even in situations where there was disappointment, setbacks, pain, or outright failure.


• I regained custody of my children after my ex falsely accused me of child abuse.

• I managed to get my family and friends off a sinking sailboat in the Gulf of Mexico. We had to wait on our life raft for about six hours, but eventually the Coast Guard found us and everyone was rescued.

• I was scared to death of public speaking, but I managed to overcome that fear by taking a class and giving my first speech.