Finding a way to discover ourselves early is one thing we’ve always been told since we were kids. Older people would always say “if you don’t discover yourself early, it will be hard to make it in life, blah blah blah”. I tried to discover myself early but it never necessarily worked for me.
A few weeks back I was thinking deeply about my life, I realized I’ve never had any conventional talent. I thought it was just one of my weird imaginations but it came true to me. I have no talent at all. It sounds really crazy, right?
While I was younger, I put so much effort into discovering myself and finding my path. I found nothing — it was just a dead end. There was no light at the end of the tunnel.
At different stages, I was influenced by a lot of people in my life to try different kinds of things. People would advise me to try out different things and I did. At the end of the day, I’ll just lose interest for no reason. Maybe because those things we’re never really exciting.
I tried learning how to play the piano in church. I was influenced because my parents were ministers in the church. Within two months, I lost interest. I stopped going for piano tutorials. For me, it wasn’t exciting.
I tried singing too. You really don’t want to know how that ambition died real quick. Haha. I tried a whole lot of things too. I would either lose interest or be average at it.
While growing up, my locality (school, church, neighbourhood) had many talented people.
- Some were academic geniuses.
- Amongst them were fantastic dancers.
- Some could play musical instruments effortlessly
- Some excelled at athletics.
- Few had lovely voices.
- Technically, a couple of them were amazing.
- Some were natural leaders.
- Some had exceptional management abilities.
- Some were great at gaming
And there was me… I had nothing special. I wasn’t a genius. I didn’t do nor participate in anything special. Most of all? I wasn’t even popular or well known amongst my peers.
But I was different. A different breed entirely.
- Academically, I was average. (Perhaps a little above average; I’m not sure whether there’s a word for that. Lmao).
- I could dance a little, but I would only do that in front of my mirror.
- I did sports, but I was average.
- I could lead a team, but there were always a few who could lead better.
- I could design, but I wasn’t the best at it.
- I write well enough, numerous people were better at it.
Eventually, I learnt something that really transformed my mindset.
- Some geniuses could not dance; not even a bit.
- Some sportspersons could not sing; not even a bit.
- Some dancers/singers just wouldn’t manage to play a sport. Yet there was me.
- Some gamers wouldn’t even be able to put pen on paper.
- I could dance, perhaps on a decent level.
- I could, at the very least, successfully lead a team for an event.
I’m just that guy that could do something some other people can’t manage to do. I may not be the best at anything, but I can do quite well at it. At least, fair enough.
The moment I understood this, everything changed! I began to see myself differently. I saw myself as the all-round guy. I began to feel more confident. I felt capable of doing a lot of things in life.
More like Jack of all trades, master of all. I could easily fit-in in any area of interest.
Understanding this has helped me build my self-esteem to a great extent. My colleagues now see me as the all-round guy. I mean, I study mathematics, I write well enough, I run a business, I have leadership skills to an extent, and I design once in a while. These fields aren’t even inter-connected.
My knowledge in mathematics, writing, entrepreneurship, leadership, and design isn’t a talent. I learnt these things and I’m not the best at these things. I just manage to be quite good at these things. As of now, my obsession with computers when I was younger has got me chasing a career in tech. Product management to be precise.
The point is, you don’t have to necessarily be a pro at something before you can feel fulfilled. You just need to have the right amount of skill level to get you started.
It’s fine not to have any conventional talent. It’s fine if you don’t discover your talent early. It’s fine not to be the best at what you do. It’s fine to be average.
What’s not fine is to beat yourself up because of it. What’s not fine is to have low self-esteem because you’re not the best at what you do.
Sometimes it’s hard to hear you’re not one of the most talented people in the room. I know what it feels like.
Today, ask young people about their talents. They’ll give you no clear answer. They’ll only tell you what they’re good at and it’s totally fine.
A proper example of this is our very own superstar, Wizkid. We all know he’s one of the greatest in our generation but when we go deep into the true definition of what music encompasses and its subcategories, Wizkid is not the best at it all.
- Johnny Drille is clearly a better singer than Wizkid.
- Brymo and Asa are clearly better songwriters than Wizkid.
- Fela is clearly a better live performer than Wizkid
- Davido and Olamide are clearly better at making hit songs.
Wizkid is great because he has the right amount of all-round skill set in music which makes him one of our generation’s best. That is why he’s consistently compared to Fela and the likes.
Can we succeed with talent alone?
Talent is performance minus effort. This is one thing people fail to understand. Think about it.
If two people are equally driven and put forth the same amount of effort to accomplish anything, the person with the most talent will win. Similarly, a person with more talent can achieve the same goal with less effort than someone with less talent. And, of course, when two people are equally talented, effort is the only thing that separates them.
The most important aspect of talent is to account for people’s motivation, effort, and hard work. When someone says, “You’re not trying hard enough,” he’s implying that your talent outweighs your effort or that you’re not living up to your full potential.
Talent is performance minus effort.
We all know extremely talented people. The gifted vocalist, rich entrepreneur, articulate public speaker, academic genius are all examples of talented people. Similarly, we all know people with great potential but aren’t necessarily “successful” or haven’t achieved major things.
Belief is one of the keys to success. Have you ever noticed how confident successful individuals are? Their faith in themselves and dedication are what keeps them going.
Are some people simply born with talent?
I don’t believe so. Not everyone is born with talent. Former NBA basketball superstar Michael Jordan was dismissed from his 8th-grade basketball team. He worked incredibly hard to achieve greatness. Even after achieving stardom, he would practice free throws long after his teammates had left for the locker room. Successful people practice, practice, practice.
Talented or not, what separates everyone is effort, motivation and hard work.
You don’t need to feel insecure about your abilities. What you need to do is to focus on being better at it.
Oh well, my newly found talent is admiring beautiful black women, irrespective of their body type. Sounds good, right?