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How to Be Talented

How to Be Talented

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Published by: javed on Jan 13, 2013
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How to Be Talented
 
“Everyone
has talent.
What’s
rare is the courage to follow it to the dark places where it 
leads.” 
 
~ Erica Jong
WHAT IS TALENT? 
 
Do you have what it takes to be a…
actor, musician, scientist, tennis player, architect, poet, doctor,
lawyer, painter…..?
The short answer is
 –
yes, you do. In this article, I will share with you 5 steps toawaken your talent.But first, what is talent anyway? It all boils down to how we define it. If we think of talent asour initial,
untrained 
, ability, then we are lot more similar to each other than we tend to imagine. Mostdifferences in what we perceive to be talent are actually due to
extensive 
training. When Einstein
said “I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious,” he wasn’t just being humble.
 Consider the following analogy: A long distance race has begun. But, unlike most races, the racershave somewhat different starting points
 –
these represent their talent, or untrained natural ability.Some racers will stop exactly where they start
 –
they never develop their natural ability at all. Theseracers never go far
 –
completely untrained natural ability is never very impressive. Others sprint for a
little while and then stop. Yet others keep going, and going, and going… who do you think will go the
furthest?On the other hand, if we view talent as our ability
with training 
, then we are all very talented. This isthe definition of talent that I will use. Let me tell you something that I believe with all my heart: youcan do anything that lies within the reach of humanity. There are very real limits of what you can do,for even with a lifetime of training, a person cannot be trained to fly unassisted. But, if there are otherpeople who can do it, so can you.We are all talented. In fact, you have so many talents that there is absolutely no hope that you couldever develop all of them. But if you pick one, you can surely develop it to the point of true excellence,
until everyone will think “There is true talent!”
 
But, don’t do it for them.
 
Do it for yourself 
.
A PERSONAL STORY 
 
Like many others, I used to believe that raw, untrained ability mattered for some things more than forothers. Perhaps some things can be trained, but creative work, I thought, required more naturaltalent. Also, I thought that anything physical also called for more raw ability.
 
 A scientist by training, I haven’t, until recently, had a chance to truly devel
op my artistic side. But, acouple of years ago I finally decided that it was time. I took my first singing lesson. Now here wassomething that was at the same time creative and physical. Surely, this must require a lot of talent.
“Do I have what it takes?” I wondered.
 I came out of my first lesson with tears in my eyes. The teacher, a woman I love dearly, had beenextremely kind. Nevertheless, I picked up on some subtle clues that my untrained ability was notvery impressive.But, I
love 
singing, so I decided to persist. I spent two years singing almost every day. I took morelessons than most singing students. I practiced as much as those who major in singing. A year aftertaking singing lessons, I decided to try singing opera. I doubled my lesson time and increased mypractice. I tried, and I tried, and I experimented, until one day I knew that things were looking upwhen my teacher exclaimed
”You are so talented!”
 I suppose the talent was there, but no one could really tell before I practiced for a
long 
time. It is notwithout hesitation that I decided to include a link to my Youtube channel. 
 
The point is that you can learn how to sing well, regardless of how you sing now. The same appliesto almost anything else.
STEPS TO AWAKEN YOUR TALENT 
 
From my experience with singing and the sciences, I noticed several commonalities with regard todeveloping talent in a variety of disciplines. I put this together for you, to help your talent shine
 –
inwhatever domain your heart desires.
1) Follow Your Heart
If you want to come out talented, you must pick something that your absolutely love. This isessential. You can become good at anything, but if you want your talent to really shine, you have tolove doing it. Ever wonder why people so often confuse what we love with what we are goodat?
Initially, this isn’t necessarily t
rue. But when we love something, this passion gives us the energyto keep working at it until we become great at it.Sometimes, we can also confuse loving an
activity 
with loving an
end result 
. While I like performing, Ialso love to sing at home without anyone listening to me. While I like the fact that people read myarticles, I also thoroughly enjoy writing them. One way to tell if you really love an activity is if it gives
 
you energy.Another is to consider what activities you are willing to pay for,instead of needing to get
 
paid.Following your heart does not end when you choose what talent you would like to develop. You haveto pay attention to your desires at every step
 –
such as when selecting a mentor or when choosing a
 
specialty. Give yourself permission to make it your own. If you are learning to sing, choose a stylethat speaks to you. If you are doing research, choose a topic that genuinely interests you. Everydomain has flexibility. Make it enjoyable, and make it your own.
2) Believe In Yourself
Many of us know what it is that we want. But, most fall short of developing their talents because they
 
.They don’t realize what
enormous talent they can have, if they only took the time
 
to nourish it.You are talented. Very talented. How do I know this? Because humans are extremely talented at somany things. All we have to do is put in the time and effort, and our talents begin to shine brighterthan the sun. Whatever you put your heart and mind to, you can do.
Please don’t confuse this with
empty inspirational words. Self-confidence is one of the most powerful self-fulfilling prophesies out
 
there. Self-confidence will give you the strength to carry on when things look bleak. It will help youkeep at it before anyone else can see your talent. You must believe in yourself before anyone elsebelieves in you. Our expectations become our reality. 
 
Persist, and in time
you will get there 
. To help you along the way, the remaining three steps give youpractical advice on how to help you develop your talent.
3) Find the Right Teacher for You
Whether you call them a trainer, mentor, or supervisor
 –
we all benefit from the teachings of anexpert. Why try to reinvent the wheel? Learn from those who know
 –
learn from those who excel!Having a good, well-matched teacher is the best short cut to developing your talent. When it comesto graduate work, students are often told that the most important thing in their graduate career ishow well suited they are for their supervisor (and vice-versa). I find that the same principle applieseverywhere else. Find yourself a good teacher, and you are well on your way to success.There are three important features to a mentor or teacher. The first is that you admire them. You
want to become like them in the skill that they are teaching you. Remember, it isn’t only about what
the instructor teaches you, it is also about what you learn by watching them. Watch them in action.There is nothing as fascinating as watching an expert. You will learn just as much from being in theircompany as from the knowledge that they actively try to impart on you.The second is that you must get along with them on a personal level. Learning is, in large part, apsychological process. You must feel at ease and relaxed to learn optimally. It is better to go forsomeone who is less of an expert but makes you feel at ease, than for the superstar that makes youfeel small and insignificant.

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