Talent alone won’t make you a success!
Michael Jordan said: “Everyone has talent, but ability takes hard work.” Many talented graduates are still poor because raw talent does not equal wealth. Before your talent can become a goldmine, you will still need to work hard on it, go to trainings and seminars to learn more about it, get mentored by someone with the same talent and gift but more experience.
Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president of the United States, once said: “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
Strong determination, persistence and hard work are an unbeatable trio. People do not just pay for your gifts and talents; they pay for the mastery of your gifts and talents, and the mystery behind mastery is hard work.
Many graduates are poor because they have become physically, mentally and emotionally lazy with their raw gifts and talents. Being lazy is disrespectful to the people who believe in you. No matter how gifted or talented you are, hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard! God can bless anything but He will never bless laziness. Your talent is useless without grit, hard work, tenacity and perseverance. In my years of mentoring and coaching, I have observed that it is the people with ‘grit’ and not ‘gift’ that reach the finishing line. When you work hard on your goals, it becomes a goldmine. When you work hard on your talent, you become a talent-plus person.
In his book, Talent Is Never Enough, a book that radically changed my life, John C. Maxwell said: “Talent is never enough. There’s no substitute for it, but there’s also no guarantee of success with it. To turn talent into influence, a person must prepare it with hard work, surround it with the right relationships, strengthen it by taking responsibility and protect it with character.”
John Maxwell emphasised the supremacy of hard work, choices, obsession, perseverance, consistency and dedication. He dwelt on the fact that only “talent-plus people” – those whose personal attributes activate, direct, sustain and protect their talent – are able to rise to the top.
When have you seen talent squandered? What was the reason someone’s ability went to waste? I can assure you that your answers will be linked to when talented people are not working hard or believing more in their talents. Your talents and gifts can still be useless if you are not working hard on them. I have observed that people that take hard work for granted don’t normally succeed in life no matter how talented they are. You must be able to work hard on your talents and gifts if you ever want to stand out in life. When you work so hard on your talent, you will be so good that people can’t ignore you. It’s the will and not the skill.
Many youths are talented but lazy. They keep blaming the government and the economy for their personal woes when their major problem is laziness and personal neglect. Latent gift is no gift at all. No man blesses the world with hidden gifts and talent. You will need to ‘fan’ it into flame, and you will need to work hard on it. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 1:6: “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands”. Are you just leaving your gift dormant, waiting for luck and chance to smile at you? Life favours only the prepared mind and when opportunity comes, it is too late to prepare!
Author Emile Zola spoke truth when he said: “The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.” Preparation positions you so that when opportunity comes, your talent can shine. Johnny Carson once remarked: “Talent alone won’t make you a success. Neither will being in the right place at the right time, unless you are ready. The most important question is: Are you ready?”
Life’s major assignment is to discover our areas of gifting, talent, unique abilities, passion and to consistently work hard on doing those things that bring them to peak performance. Everybody is gifted for something, but the winning edge comes from our ability to work on our gifts and bless the world with it. The very best way to develop yourself is in the direction of your natural talents and interest. In order to live a fulfilled and impactful life, we need to work harder on our gift than our job.
I will like to give youths out there some action steps to help them fire up their talents: Find out seminars, conferences and trainings that you will need to attend to work more on your talents and gifts. Get mentored by someone that has a vast experience in your area of gifting and talent. Dedicate at least 30 minutes daily to work on your gifts, talents and unique abilities. Find more platforms of expression to gain more experience on your gifts and talents. You may need to volunteer to work for an experience in your area of gifting and talent; search for organisations or NGOs where you can work and gain ample experience in that direction.
Israelmore Ayivor said: “When you optimise your talents very well, you can pick money from people’s pockets and nobody will ever get the guts to call you a thief.” The grave is full of talented people who never worked hard on their talents. Don’t bury your talent with laziness. Dreams don’t work unless you do. Often, it’s not the most talented but the most persistent that eventually succeed.
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