“Talent is a wonderful thing, but it won’t carry a quitter. ”
― Stephen King, Duma Key
If you’ve followed this blog, you’ll know by now that I’m a firm believer that everyone was born with God-given talents and that anyone who says otherwise is either mistaken or purely a pessimist.
Regardless of our gender, age, or status in life, everyone has a gift that we either haven’t discovered yet or we’re simply trying to keep inside.
I’m not a big fan of reality shows but I do enjoy watching some of them from time-to-time, particularly the talent shows. Programs like American Idol, The Voice, or America/Philippines Got Talent gives people the chance to showcase their gifts and though sometimes we find some of the contestants funny and ridiculously over-the-top, I tip my hat off to these people because they had the determination and the guts to get themselves out there.
Not everyone has the fortitude to stand in front of a large crowd and perform on national TV. Not everyone has the nerve to do what they do best while people cheer or boo them so just getting there, showing up at the audition and performing in front of judges is already an achievement. Getting selected and winning the contest is the crowning glory.
This doesn’t veer off from what’s happening in real life. The sad part is that we all know we have the talent but we choose to stay in anonymity and mediocrity. We know that we have what it takes but we choose to keep our talents to ourselves and keep it dormant instead of nurturing it.
God gave us talents not just to better ourselves but to also make the lives of the people around us better too and the best way to give back and show our gratitude is to put these talents into use.
1. Develop your talents
When I was a kid, I used to love to draw. I remember back when I was around four to five years old how I would draw stick figures with a cape that had a superman symbol in the middle. This was the time when all I would do on Saturday mornings was watch Challenge of the Superfriends and I would get all pumped up after that I will draw each and every one of them in their stick figure equivalent.
My parents saw how passionate I was that they asked my aunts and uncles to “donate” used papers from their offices so instead of shredding these documents and letting them go to waste, I made good use of them by drawing on the blank, opposite sides.
My talent in drawing improved as I grew up. By the time I was in highschool, I was already illustrating my superheroes comic-book style and my classmates would always form a crowd around me every time they see me draw during our break periods.
They say practice makes perfect and that applies to our talents too. You have to invest time and hard work to make the most out of these talents because talent alone will not be enough.
If you see potential in your kids, help them develop their talents by getting them into workshops or simply by providing them the necessary tools to put these talents into practice.
2. Don’t make it about the money
I knew I had the talent for art because people would tell me how good I was every time they see one of my drawings so it was already expected that by the time I step into college that I will take a course that will make use of my talent.
Everyone thought I would take architecture or fine arts but I ended up taking computer science instead.
My friends would later ask me, why computer science when they were all expecting fine arts?
My short reply would be because there was no money in architecture or fine arts, at least here in the Philippines. If I was to become a professional artist, I would have to sell my art, lots of them.
Do I regret that decision?
Not really. But I can’t deny that I may not be as miserable in my job if I followed my passion.
I can see this happening with most people now. People hating their jobs because they got into it not because they liked it but because the benefits are great and the pay is lucrative. It does feel good at first, no question about that, but when stress starts creeping in, they soon realize that the money wasn’t worth it at all.
3. Talent + Hardwork = Success
Apart from Michael Jordan, one of my basketball heroes who I consider an inspiration is Larry Bird, not because of the numbers he put up but because of his legendary work ethic that’s been the subject of several stories that has been passed on for the past three decades.
Larry Bird is one of the deadliest shooters who has ever lived and his talent is one for the ages. No questions about that. But what is more fascinating about Larry Legend is his dedication to self-improvement despite being blessed with perhaps the best shooting hands any basketball player could ever dream of.
Throughout his career, Bird observed a strict practice regimen. He would always arrive in the game venue two to three hours earlier and, together with a ball boy, shoot an average of 200 shots without saying a single word.
Like I said earlier, talent alone won’t get you as far as combining it with hard work would.
If you’re good at graphic design, do more of it. Study the latest in graphic design software, join graphic design forums, and attend workshops or seminars about it. You can’t rely on talent alone. You have to do everything you can to make sure that you make the most out of these talents by putting it to use as often as you can.
4. Talents are not meant to be hidden
Your talents wouldn’t amount to anything if they remain hidden.
I remember one of our inside jokes within my circle of friends every time someone does something funny or stupid, or both.
“Hey you’ve got talent bro. Why don’t you just hide it?”
But in all seriousness, that shouldn’t be the case. You should be proud of your talents. If your talent can help other people, then by all means, you have to market yourself. Promote your talent.
You may not notice it but this is exactly what you’re doing when you’re applying for a job. You are marketing your skills and promoting your talent. Be it on paper, or during the interview, the one thing you should always put focus on are your strengths, skills and talents. You need to convince the employer that these qualities of yours are your selling point and that these same qualities will be your contribution to the company should they decide to hire you.
You need to put yourself out there and come forward with your talents because it will all be useless if no one can see how great your talents are.
There are so many talented people around us who remain in the shadows either because they’re shy or they’re simply not confident. Thank God for social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube, people now have the avenue to showcase their talents to the world.
If you think you’ve got it, show it! Be proud of your talents because for all we know, this can be the key for your dreams to become a reality.
Over to You
Are you making good use of your God-given talents?
I would love to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment or share your stories below.
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