Wanted: Talent

It’s still self-pity day. Bear with me.

I find myself scrutinizing my kids’ behavior, trying to figure out if my kids have talent in any area, such as music or drawing. We’re not pushing them into anything – it’s a casual observation, hoping they’ll have an aptitude I wish I had. I see my son wanting to play with tools all the time, even though we haven’t given him anything, so I see hope for him as a carpenter. I see my daughter coming up with something melodic on the piano and I get excited that she has musical talent. I’m sure most parents do the same, wanting their children to exceed.

Which brings me to my main point:

I’m not an expert at any one thing. I don’t have the patience to devote the time and energy on something I WISH I excelled at, despite my ALWAYS wanting to be more than just good at it.

For example, I love to write. I read books about writing and grammar all the time. I love the idea of writing for a living; actually, I love the idea of being artistic at anything, even though I know the odds of making money from it are low. Yet, I don’t work at it. I’d rather dabble in a little of everything I like, instead of concentrating on one thing. I label myself “lazy”, but really, maybe it’s just inattentiveness along with a need to know about everything without becoming an expert.

My lack of being good at any one thing makes me envy those who ARE good at particular skills, especially practical skills like plumbing or construction-related tasks.

I still think I may have a talent not discovered yet. Maybe I’d be a superb chef (I DO enjoy cooking) or a watch maker. Who knows? How can one figure out that stuff? I don’t believe in self-help books – most of their drivel is common sense, but they ARE intriguing, like Don’t Waste Your Talent : The 8 Critical Steps to Discovering What You Do Best.

Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others. He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind.

– Budda

No shit, Sherlock.

9 Replies to “Wanted: Talent”

  1. haha.. “music or drawing”

    I find it weird that you don’t know what you’re good at. I’ve known what I’m good at for about 20 years. Although, knowing that I’m an asshole and a jerk came easily for me since most people call me either one or the other or both. If I had the gumption and wasn’t addicted to games I could see myself being good at a lot of stuff. I do think you eventually become good at whatever you focus on and don’t mind focusing on for the most amount of time.

  2. > you eventually become good at whatever you focus on

    That’s the key, which I lack: I never focus on something long enough to call myself an “expert” at something.

  3. I think you’re confusing talent with skill. You can become skilled at something you really have no talent for, it just takes hard work. If you have a talent for something and work really hard at it, you’d get further at it than most people faster. To be an expert at something just takes skill, which you have to work at.

    So I agree with ya that you have no focus, but I highly doubt you have no talent. Seems to me you pick up muzak really quick, and I know you can program better than you should be able to ya lazy bastard.

  4. Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others. He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind.

    Mmmmmm… I disagree. I learned to draw because I was jealous other kids. I learned to program because a hacker at work was heaped with praise. I started martial arts out of envy too. All three have brought me considerable peace of mind.

    As for you, what you love is what you excel at. Find what you love (as long as it’s not preteen in nature, in which case, suppress!!!!).

  5. i found this activity when i was in my teens …and i pursued it with vigor and focus…then i got older got married and for a while i had lost “touch” with this endeavor….but over the years of marriage i have once again engaged…my question….is this a skill or a talent…i am confused and my eyesight is fading…

    yeah jody could always pick up music stuff…i was/am very envious but am too lazy to act on my emotion..

  6. > i found this activity when i was in my teens

    Masturbation is not a talent or skill; it’s like breathing – you just do it; and as a teenager, almost as often, too.

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