Isn't giftedness about having some unusual talent or ability?

People commonly describe those who display unusual talent as “gifted” people—for example, the “gifted” athlete, the “gifted” musician, the “gifted” actress, etc. But that's not what we mean by giftedness.

Giftedness is actually common and universal. No, not everyone performs at a “world-class” level. But everyone exhibits a pattern of behavior that is unique to them. That pattern is expressed even in the everyday, mundane affairs of life, such as what they wear, who they associate with, what kind of car they drive, who they vote for, what their religious convictions are (if any), what they watch on TV or dial up on the Web, etc.

Giftedness is not for a fortunate few. It's universal. It's part of the human condition. By identifying a given person's giftedness, we bring to light what that person does best and is most motivated to do. Then we can help them craft life and career directions that fit who they are.