Have you found yourself wishing for a particular talent?
While some people may pine for a particular talent, perhaps the ability to paint pastoral scenes or to play chess like a champion, I take a slightly different view on what counts as talent. You see, throughout my life I have never failed to notice when someone referred to me as talented; as a kid, my head was big with it. I was smart, and I was talented, and those were the things that made me proud because I know I did not have things like money or physical prowess. But looking back, I tend to think that “talent” as people call it is overrated.
Why? Because we all have talents. I was often complimented on things like my linguistic ability, my piano playing, and my drawing abilities; this last one always drew the most acclaim, it seems, because so many people wish they can draw, and for what it’s worth, there’s nothing wrong with that. Also, I seem to have this thing about becoming at least decently proficient in whatever I undertake, such as bookbinding, knitting, running, et cetera . . . I like to do things to do them and to learn to do them well enough, and the road behind me is littered with such hobbies and pursuits as to create a characteristic trail that practically narrates my life and state of mind. So what’s wrong with this idea of talent?
That’s just it. Talent is not something that a person naturally has, but an aptitude that one has developed through time and practice. I get that now, and so I feel a little sheepish to realize that I ever thought that there was ever anything special about me; although I am quite special, the things I have endeavoured to master do not set me apart from the herd in any significant way. But I’m also pensive on this issue for another reason – through the endeavour to master many things, I have long suspected that I may have delayed or even crippled the incredible success I may have enjoyed in life.
I once read about a quote by Joan Rivers – and for the life of me I can’t find it now, even with the unimaginably massive power of the Internet – about how to succeed in life. The upshot was, find a thing to do and stick to it. Focus on it. Don’t try to do too many things because you won’t be able to do any one of them better than everyone else. And in my search for this quote I found this short video that showcases exactly my feelings about the nature of talent:
This is how you acquire talent; it’s not a twenty you find on the side of the road, but a tree that you plant from a seed and you laboriously water and fertilize and prune until it reaches maturity; and then, truly understanding where that tree is coming from, you take seeds from that tree and you plant an orchard, and when you have your orchard full of fruit, that is your talent. It doesn’t come overnight, in a flash, but over years of hard work; you look back on all the work you put into it and that is something to be proud of. A lot of us have something like that, whether we realize it or not; in fact, most of us are talented in some way or another, and to wish for another talent is like wishing for a different spouse. By doing so, we do a disservice to the talent that we have and we actually risk damaging or losing it through inattention.
So in that regard, do I really have a talent? I mean, after all the different arts and crafts I have worked at and practiced and tried to be proficient at, is there something I’ve found that I really want to work at making my orchard?
I do, and I came to it after thinking that I would never do it again because it was too much work, that I would never have the time required to devote to it. I don’t wish for any talent other than the one that I have, and I don’t have any illusions about how I’m going to get it; you can’t get a talent or just have it. You have to want it, you have to work for it, and you have to win it through persistence.
And so, all my friends and followers, I continue to write.
This post was prompted by today’s Daily Post prompt.
- Invisibility | Godrick Gnomish
- Just Noise (Depapepe Fan) | Daily Prompt: Practice Makes Perfect? | likereadingontrains
- Time for tea | Markovich Arts
- Inside the crate staring out | We Live In A Flat
- Daily Prompt: Practice Makes Perfect? « Mama Bear Musings
- Moods and melody | Crossroads
- I wish I could sing | Motherhood and Beyond
- A Daily Prompt Poem: Talent « Vicariously Poetic
- I’m not just whispering for the sake of it. It’s for your benefit too. | thoughtsofrkh
- Talent? Maybe. Or How to Burn Water. « RPMAS
- Oh, For The Joy To Play Anything | The Jittery Goat
- Daily Prompt – practice makes perfect | Kate Murray
- Practice Hard | crookedeyebrows
- I sing because I’m happy. I sing because I’m free….. | mostlytrueramblings
- Have A Talent? | Tony’s Texts
- Daily Prompt: Practice Makes Perfect! | Life as a country bumpkin…not a city girl
- S. Thomas Summers | Daily Prompt: Practive Makes Perfect
- Daily Prompt: Practice Makes Perfect? 22|9 | Family, Photos, Food & Craft
- Talent? Nothing You Could Bank On. | The Ambitious Drifter
- Flying On Empty Thoughts | Shaking All Over
- Fall. — Color it in…One Piece at a Time | mommyverbs
- A Dream Unfinished | Flowers and Breezes
- Daily Prompt: Practice Makes Perfect? | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
- I love to singa! | Neva Samaki
- Ah! To be a Siren, a Mermaid… | alienorajt
- the UNCATEGORISED | Practice Makes Perfect? | the TRASH BASH
- Art Class | Conversations
- Singing my heart out?or atleast trying! | Life Confusions
- Daily Prompt: Practice Makes Perfect? | Thoughts & Reflections
- Daily Prompt: Practice Makes Perfect? | bloobloons
- 181. I Know it’s There Somewhere | Barely Right of Center
- Practice Makes Perfect? | Khana’s Web
- Talented Statue | Travel with Intent
- Talent | Mara Eastern’s Personal Blog
- Practice Makes Perfect | lifebeinggirly
- The Artist | Barefoot in Paris
- Talent: A Letter to my Followers | The Magic Black Book
- If I Were Artistically Inclined… | Creative Mysteries
- Let’s talk … | Rock it classy
- Baking in Paper | JC Bride ~
- Daily Prompt: Practice makes perfect | Steve Says….
- RV » Talent?
- Daily Prompt: Practice Makes Perfect | My Endless Rants & Ramblings
- I Don’t Want to Learn, I Want to Do | Nerdy Woman
- Talented | dandelionsinwind
- Too lazy to pursue | Books, Music, Photography & Movies : my best friends
- Practice Makes Perfect? | The Nameless One
- Practice Does Make It Perfect | mardmood
- Daily Prompt: Practice Makes Perfect | Ruminations & Observations…
- Talent | Arts View NC
- Daily Prompt: Practice Makes Perfect? | Moments Thru Lens
- Crochet… Practice makes perfect – The Sassy Pony Blog
- Daily Prompt: Practice Makes Perfect? | Art! | reyoflight
- Faceplant! – Daily Prompt: Practice makes Perfect | Babsje Heron
- Drawing and Painting | Sogna Grandezza
- Living Within Your Harvest is a Talent you can Practice | gorgeous little thieves
- The Dream Catcher | prettypinkpebbles
- Talent | Chronicles of a Public Transit User
- Gently Weeping Over My Guitar | Just Visiting This Planet
- Practice Makes Perfect? | Write on J.B.
- Daily Prompt: TALENT | Far from Done
- One Starving Activist
- Look on the bright side | The Otter in my Jotter
- Daily Prompt: Practice Makes Perfect? (The Daily Post) | Luna’s Imagination Igloo
- Drops of Water and Grains of Sand | Maggie’s Stories
- My Talents… | Haiku By Ku
- ballerina | Mareship
- Daily Prompt: If only I could…. | storyofmylife1993
- The Hopelessly Voiceless Starlet (Daily Prompt: Practice Makes Perfect) | Running with Reality
- What if I could be an artist? | Okay, what if ?
- Daily Prompt: Practice Makes Perfect? | The Blogging Path
- Tooth Rescue…Who Knew?…(wp daily prompt) | Daily Observations
- Practice Makes Perfect? | Kansa Muse on Micro Farming and More
- Wanted Talents | The Spacebear’s Blog
- Sing, sing a song | Life is great
- Flaunt It? | CurTales
- Daily Prompt: Practice Makes Perfect? | grafiklit
- On Laziness : Practice Makes Perfect | thanks for letting me autograph your cat
- Life In The Fast Lane | Wiley’s Wisdom
- Practice Makes Perfect? | Perfect Medium.
- Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire! | Emotional Resonance and Rocket Launchers
- DP: I wish I could sing. | Write in the Wrong Way
- If I Could Do Anything | tuckedintoacorner
- Daily Prompt: Practice Makes Perfect? | Overcoming Bloglessness
- Daily Prompt: Practice Makes Perfect | Edge of the Forest
- If I Had Talents, How Talented I Would Be! | Resident Alien — Being Dutch in America
- 5 Talents I’d Love to Have | rarasaur
- Daily post: Practice makes perfect… | helen meikle’s scribblefest
- The Talent I Don’t Have | The Arkside of Thought
- Sister, can you spare some time? | sltimewellwasted
- Daily Prompt: Practice Makes Perfect? | This is ME, you know.
- Practice Makes Perfect? | tjbarkerseattle
- Talents | A mom’s blog
- The final frontier | dawnyhosking
- Daily Prompt: Talent | The Inquisitive Feline