The Seduction of Talent

His walk is a swagger because he knows he’s got it. He doesn’t try hard because he doesn’t need to. He can make your efforts look like child’s play, that’s how good he’s at it. People say he’s the best, people say he will be the best, people say he knows his craft.

She walks with a ton of humility on her shoulders. She tries hard to be the best. She knows that soon, her efforts will outshine someone else’s mere talent. People say she’s not good at it, people say she should do something else, people say she is a joke.

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Talent is overrated, although it is there. Your innate abilities are probably drowned in years of conformity, scripted living and unquestioned authority.

All I’ve got are my aspirations, my dreams, my interests. If God so wills, if the universe so conspires, then my talent will be found through my hard work. If not, then so be it. I can not claim to have control over much. I can not claim to know my talents. But I must – I must – find my interests, find plans within my dreams.

Talent is confusing. Therefore, seductive. You walk a slippery slope when you rely on your talent. Too many talented people die dejected. Forget about it. Find your interests. What do you love to do? How much are you willing to sacrifice for it? How much hard work can you put in?

Your skills are synonyms of your interests. Essentially, they are one and the same.

When I listen to what people say, I get valuable feedback. But people are not always right. Want to hear some true stories? Walt Disney was fired from his newspaper job because “he did not display enough imagination”. The book Chicken Soup for the Soul was rejected more than 140 times by publishers, but when it did see the light of print, it has to date sold more than 40 million copies in at least 20 different languages. What do people know?

But I too, belong to people. I too can be wrong. Therefore, will you please pass me a ton or two of humility so I too can weight my shoulders down.

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He works a tired job. He has stories to tell. Everyone respects him, they know he had potential, had talent. He whines that the world is cruel. He claims that everyone was out to get him. He complains his life away, because he was talented.

She sits softly with a family she has nurtured. She has stories to tell. Everyone respects her, they know she had worked smart, had worked hard. She is grateful to her God, her family and friends, for the support in times that were tough. She has lived a life that was interesting, she has lived a life that was demanding, she has lived a life that was worth living.

 

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24 thoughts on “The Seduction of Talent

  1. Zaib Shehzad

    Told someone that I was gonna start job hunting, he said I’d be better off starting a business, and recommended your blog.. this was the first one of yours I’ve read.. n i’ve been bought….:) .. i shall paint my life away… or something…

    Reply
    1. Momekh

      I hope that this transaction proves fruitful ;-)
      And tell whosoever recommended my blog, that thanks!

      Welcome to the community, Zaib. All the best!

  2. BlueLHR

    Great read! It’s what entrepreneurs should follow. This is my first visit to this blog and I certainly plan to keep coming back.

    Reply
  3. Amna Tahir

    This is a very nice post n sooooo true.
    Chasing the dream opens new doors everyday, introduces to new peopole, new worlds…even if it fails what about the countless colors and faces added on the canvas of our life!!! I don’t have talent to run a dairy farm but am dreaming & see this dream brought me here… I found info, found experienced people who are ready to help… read this nice post I could have missed this all if I were not chasing my dream.

    Reply
  4. Kamal

    I think this 2 min animated video sums what Gina n U are saying in an awesome way

    Facebakeek.com is still available time to register it and start a social network for chickens. :D (Momekh I think u should think about one for cows n buffalo’s :P)

    Reply
    1. Momekh Post author

      Hahahaha. That’s a cool video, Kamal! As usual, your curation skills are way above par! :) Thanks.

      And yeah, a facemoooooo.com should be available to register. Heck, if the domain is not available, I’ll just add another ‘o’ and be done with it hahaha :)

    2. Gina Hiatt

      This is very clever. It would be nice to have subtitles in English, because I didn’t understand all of it. If it did, I would post it on my blog, or link to it on Facebook.

  5. aqeeliz

    You are becoming quite a story teller; That’s a really nice post, it reminds me a bit of Paulo Coelho’s blog posts I used to read.

    I have been reading your blog on and off, since you started it, and it is interesting to see how your writing has improved over time, I guess that can be another example of how if you keep trying and doing something you get better at it, which is usually a moral of lots of your posts here :) (though, if you think about it is, it is one of the most obvious thing).

    As for keep going even after the rejection, what if it really wasn’t your best book? What if only you think it’s a masterpiece, but it is actually nothing better than everything else out there, and you won’t get a great hit after 140 or even 250 rejections. What’s the line between having confidence in yourself and your work, and being stupidly naive?

    Reply
    1. Momekh Post author

      There is always a line, a very, very thin line, between crazy and genius.

      I guess that is how subtly the two are different i.e. sufficiently confident vs stupidly naive. But the thing is, you’ll NEVER know till you have 250 rejections in the bag. :)

    2. Momekh Post author

      And I will pay no attention whatsoever to you comparing this post – even remotely so – to one of my fav writers. No, I won’t.

  6. Gina Hiatt

    My quote did not publish — here it is:

    “Having the world’s best idea will do you no good unless you act on it. People who want milk shouldn’t sit on a stool in the middle of a field in hopes that a cow will back up to them.” — Curtis Grant 

    Reply
    1. Momekh Post author

      Hehehe… the idea of milking, especially in these parts of the Internet, will ring true for many! :P

      Thanks for the wonderful quote Gina :)

  7. Gina Hiatt

    Beautifully said, and so true. Who cares if you’re a genius inventor, if all you can say is, “I had that idea; I should have been the one to patent it and bring it to market.” An idea is only an idea. It’s up to you to do the work, risk the rejection, face the naysayers, use your savings, and take a chance at failure, in order to have success.

    Reply
    1. Momekh Post author

      Exactly Gina. An idea has its time and place… but it has no value till you take action on it. “risk the rejection, face the naysayers” as you so aptly put it.

  8. Rabia

    It was really nice to read as I have been trying something really hard yet failing miserably. Maybe I do not have the talent but I do want it and am interested in its success.

    Reply
    1. Momekh Post author

      Perhaps, that is why you should stop looking at it from the perspective of talent. You know why? Because you said “Maybe I do not have the talent”. If you are doubtful, use that doubt to your advantage. :)

      Skill can and should be developed. Polished. But at the end of the day, the success is based on one’s own personal circumstances, choices and resilience. Imagine writing your best book, only to be rejected 140 times. Imagine that, one hundred and forty publishers reject your work. Makes one thing, “maybe the publishers – the people actually putting out these books – have a point that my work is not that good”. Do you think the author faced self-doubt? Maybe. Maybe not. But just imagine the author giving up at the 139th rejection!

      I wish you all the best, Rabia.

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