Yes, for years I used to think I was as untalented as it gets. I can’t sing, but I’m not tone-deaf, however I’ve been told I have the makings to become the next Beyoncé. Let’s call my voice… ‘rough around the edges’. I can’t play an instrument however I’m sure if someone was to put a steel pan in front of me I’d remember a little suttin suttin from my school days. Thinking about it, I can play the Rugrats theme tune on the keyboard so I’m not completely hopeless. I can’t act, however I can play legally blind when I have to and I’ve been told I can be hard to read so I’m guessing that counts as something.
We tend to think about talents as something that can be easily displayed on demand like singing, dancing and acting. It’s not our fault really, when a show is labelled a ‘talent-show’ it has historically referred to something with a musical or entertainment orientation. Well, I’m here to tell you it’s more than that.
Some of the most fruitful talents are intangible. For example the act of persuasion is a talent. Do you know how hard it is for some people to convince others to believe in them? Or to get people on their side? But for others, it’s a piece of cake! For some reason you buy into whatever they say and you put faith in their abilities. My friend that is a talent! Imagine if you were seeking investment in a business idea, people will take one up on you regardless of your idea.
The good ‘ol dictionary defines talent as a ‘natural aptitude or skill’ – the crucial word in that definition is ‘natural’.
What if I told you that one person’s talent is another person’s skill?
In my opinion talents are natural, they are things you don’t know how you started doing but you just do and with great ease. Let’s use singing as an example, you know those people who say I’ve been singing since I was baby (to be honest I’ve always found this statement very unrealistic because they’re basically claiming their cries were ballads) but anyway we get what they mean. That straight-outta-the-womb ability to open your mouth and saaaang is a certified talent. However others long for the desire to sing and will invest in lessons from a young age so that when they’re older they can saaang too. God-given or learned – the end result is that they can both sing.
Never say you’re untalented. Firstly because being talented is actually just a head-start and you still need to develop and polish that natural ability. As corny as it sounds, we are all talented in our own way. Just remember one person’s natural talent is another person’s learned skill and no skill is ever out of reach.
Remember: “A winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals” – Larry Bird