Many times in the past and several times in the last couple weeks I've had the honor of being told; "I wish I had your talent".
At one time or another I've been complimented on a variety of things; "You do wonderful photography, writing, leather tooling, you've trained horses and led troops. You do woodworking and are a damn fine rifle shot... an amazing array of talents."
It always bothers me a little. I mean, I'm humbled by such compliments but I often wonder what it is they're talking about. I look at myself and can't see someone with any greater ability than they.
What bothers me the most though is when any compliments of my work always seem to be prefaced or ended with that; "I wish I had your talent."
It's like blond hair, or freckles, or a 6' 4" frame... as if none of what a person accomplishes was a choice... only a built in automatic "talent".
I look around and I see most others with what I perceive to be 'talents' equal to or greater than mine... but sadly they somehow seem to be unable to recognize them.
They've been taught to think otherwise.
It's my belief that we're all pretty much born with the same "talents". The same Tools in our possession. Truly... They're just not commonly recognized as such. People are trained and conditioned to believe that talent is some magical gene that only a few lucky buggers have.
I don't know if it's a built in part of the system to guarantee a supply of serfs to do the menial labors of society or what... and I don't really care about the reason. I just want to shine a light on and disable that wrong headed line of thinking. It cripples, for no legitimate reason, too many people before they've even taken their first run at a thing.
It's that same old "downer syndrome" that seems built in to society. So much would become possible if that lie could be eradicated.
Since people who have been taught that "talent" is a gift can't "SEE" the gene in themselves... they just surrender to a life of drudgery for the un-talented; unknowing that the joy of achievement is just beyond the cloud of misdirection they've been blinded by.
It Pisses me OFF! Because there is NO Gene to SEE! It does not exist except in cases so rare they should be considered an abnormal aberration.
TALENT is NOT a magical gene... Never was... Never will be.
It is 98% Sweat and Effort. If you find an interest, and invest the study, the sweat and the effort... Your "talent" will be Polished into something you can be proud of.
It is the basis of the saying in my world; Cowboy Up! It means; Stand up, stop whining, and get the damn job done! "Talent" be damned!
I guarantee failures along the way, lots of 'em. But here is the truth and the reality. It's those failures that make your eventual success taste so sweet. When you simply refuse to quit, when you refuse to surrender to those who try to feed you that sorry lie about talent, you become one of those to whom people will be saying; "I wish I had your talent."
Each and every one of those failures is a lesson along the way to perfection. They eliminate one more way that didn't work. Each one brings you closer to success.
Remember that movie RUDY a few years back? A true story about a "Talentless" guy who achieved his dream by the simple refusal to surrender it?... It's not Sheep Dip... It's another demonstration of the reality of what Courage, Mental toughness and sheer determination can and will produce.
It is the PROOF of the primary ingredient of Talent; Sweat.
Sure, some will excel above others and for all sorts of reasons. They put in more effort. Their physical reality fit into the pursued interest easier requiring less effort, sometimes plain old dumb luck... whatever... that all remains irrelevant.
Some will be first... others second... but those are all success... way down at the bottom are those who quit, who didn't even try. They didn't fail because they never entered the fray... and Only because they BELIEVED the LIE.
There will always be degrees of difference, but that does not subtract from the basic tenet that what you are and what you become; Is Your Choice.
An example; I can't recall his name... but there was/is a guy playing in the NBA. Now, most of those guys are physical giants of what, 6 1/2 feet and more? This guy, whoever he is... towers at, I believe, 5' 7"... a supposed fatal flaw in his NBA dreams...
... except... he put in the sweat and effort...the Heart... and is an acknowledged top player... in spite of his apparent "disability".
The point I'm making is this; If you have an interest, pursue it. Hell, even if you are severely brain damaged, pur-sue It!
Whatever "disability" you might have is simply a "Thing" you have to adjust for. If you're too short you get a taller ladder. If you are a conscious, living, breathing, thinking, educable, human being you can LEARN anything your heart leads you to pursue.
Cast off that crap that you've been taught. It is a lie! It is The Bull Feces that cripples people before they even start...That lie that you don't have the Talent... That you don't have the ability...
IT IS A DAMNABLE LIE!
BEETHOVEN's Best work came after he WENT FREAKING DEAF!!! Helen Keller was BORN Deaf AND Blind!!
... and yet you try to claim that with your vision, and your hearing, and your two working hands and two walking legs... You can't learn to paint? You can't learn to create wonderful photography? You can't learn to carve... garden, sew, write, trade, train dogs, tool leather, do carpentry...
You try and tell me that you can't LEARN to do ANYTHING in a competent manner that your Heart leads you to pursue?
You were misled. See through that garbage and Polish the talent they tried to convince you that you lacked... with Effort...It is your CHOICE, Not Genetics.
No? Tell it to someone else... I'm too busy learning how to improve my silly lil' drawings!