I’ve talked to many people over the years who have had no idea what they were good at. They believed they had no discernible talents at all when, in fact, we all have infinite gifts; we just haven’t discovered them yet.
To find these talents all you need is a little curiosity, some courage and a hunger to break free from the limitations and expectations put on us by others and ourselves.
Unfortunately society encourages conformity. Parents don’t want you to take risks because they love you, employers want you to help them achieve their goals not yours and the education system (at the mercy of whatever government is in power) often seems driven by results rather helping students discover their talents.
Add to that the ‘fear of the new’ most of us suffer from and we have a recipe for ‘life paralysis’ and bad decisions.
In the end it is down to you to find where your real talents lie!
Remember, success has little to do with education; it’s about self-discipline, a willingness to learn, the ability to keep going when things get tough, stubborn determination and passion.
When I was at school I was discouraged from studying art. My teachers thought I would never be any good at it and the school agreed.
They suggested I got an apprenticeship in the shipyards which I foolishly did, thus wasting the next three years of my life. I later studied art at night school and went onto become creative director of the world’s biggest branding agency. ‘So, what did they know’?
My little recipe for life is:
- Take a cup full of passion
- Add a measure of hope and courage
- A spoonfull of commitment
- A drop of healthy curiosity
- Stir in some love and affection
- Add a pinch of ‘**** you’ to give it some ‘umph’
- Turn up the heat and you’re good to go
Think for yourself!
Try stuff. Do what you enjoy and don’t be disillusioned by the limitations of others.
Ask yourself ‘What am I really passionate about, what interests me, and you will find that within lies a bright and fulfilling future if you’re brave enough to give it a chance.
There is a wonderful quote by the composer and violinist Pablo Sarasate:
“A genius! For 37 years I’ve practised 14 hours a day, and now they call me a genius!”
Starting something new can be very scary. It’s a step into the unknown. All sorts of things can go wrong and some of them will. We can either use this as an excuse not to do it or use it to inspire us to ‘get out there’ and experiment.
“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” – Audre Lorde
We can all find excuses for taking the easy path in life but that’s not where the magic happens, and what is life without a little magic?
For you it may be that you want to learn to play a musical instrument, join a band, perform in public, write a novel, build your own house or start a business. You owe it to yourself to, at least, try.
‘If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to build theirs’.
Yes it’s scary, yes you are vulnerable and exposed where there is nothing to protect you. You risk being laughed at and it can be an open invitation for some to kick you where the sun doesn’t shine, but the buzz is incredible. You really do feel alive. It’s a ‘wake up and smell the coffee’ moment.
Once you start you just have to keep going. That is the hard part.
You don’t have to be Superman or Wonder Woman!
Starting can be tough but ordinary people like you and me become successful all the time.
Whether you’re a university graduate, just been made redundant, just retired or you’re an overworked mother with a mortgage and can’t remember the last time you had any time to yourself, you can do it if you want to.
When the going gets tough (and it will) and your enthusiasm takes a hit and the passion starts to fade.
When the goalposts keep moving, stop everything and remember the day you decided to start. Remember the excitement you felt, remember how you wanted to tell everyone about your new fantastic idea and how the sun seemed to shine brighter that day.
Go back to that place and come back fighting.
Here are 10 things you will find useful along the way:
- You are never too young, too old or too late to be follow your dream
- Never be afraid to start, but you must start today – now!
- Do something you love and are passionate about. Most (but not all of us) don’t, which is why we hate Mondays, long for Fridays and, as the years go by, slowly commute our way to retirement or death whichever comes first.
- Stop watching the TV. Apparently the average person watches 9.1 years of TV and you can bet most of it will be repeats!
- Most things in life are a matter of perspective. The moment you change your perspective, you become a different person.
- Ask more questions.
- Be patient. There’s no advantage to rushing through life “All great achievements require time” – Maya Angelou
- People will try to discourage you. Don’t let them. Believe in yourself and don’t worry about what other people think.
- Be more disciplined. Discipline is doing something you might not like in order to achieve something you love.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Focus on your own game.