This article is going to be a bit different from the rest. Tell me if you like this strange style that I’m going to experiment with here.
This reminds me of my very old friend. He probably doesn’t want me to mention his name here, so let’s use his second name that very people know about – Joshua. This friend of mine used to mock the definition of energy. Energy was defined as the force that caused things to happen. Other textbooks defined energy as “The ability to do work” What a useless definition he would say. What does the definition of energy have to do with talent? Everything.
You see, in primary school (or was it secondary school?) we were introduced to the term energy. We learnt about the different types of energy – mainly potential energy, and kinetic energy. I found potential energy quite fascinating. A gigantic boulder on the top of the hill could one day decide to roll down a hill and cause chaos to the plants, animals and humans downhill. But then again, it might not do anything. That boulder could be weathered down to soil without having caused any chaos. Potential energy sounded really useless to me.
Then I grew up. I learnt of this new word – talent. I always disliked it because it sounded meaningless to me. It is a commonly used word so I eventually got to know what it is. The more I understood this word, the more I realized that it is just like potential energy.
Discovering your talents
Everyone has energy. My primary school teacher used to say that a lot, and then she would give a really weird smile. Kinda creeped me out each time she did that. Well, its true. We all have energy. Likewise, we all have talents. We all have the ability to cause a tremendous impact in this world but most people grow up, and eventually die without even discovering their talents. What a terrible waste of life
Believing in your talents
Say you’ve discovered your talents. That’s great right? Actually no. I have met the most talented people who didn’t believe in their talents. Imagine Michael Jackson saying he couldn’t sing – ridiculous isn’t it? Yet I keep meeting such people. You may even be one of them.
Making use of your talents
Say you are part of the very few people who believe in themselves. You believe in your talents. Well that’s not the end. You need to use them. Don’t just dig a big hole and bury your talents. Use them. Impact the world in a positive way. How? By using your talents to improve yourself. Somebody is always watching you. That somebody watching you will be motivated to also use his talents, and pretty soon, we’ll have people who aren’t ashamed of making good use of their talents.
A very long time ago, when I was young, I would spend a great deal of time daydreaming about having amazing superhuman talents. I loved it! It was amazing. I could be a space ranger in one minute and a superhero in the next. There was no limit to what I thought of myself. Life happened, and homework replaced all that daydreaming time.
I grew up wondering which talents I had. I never really thought of myself as talented, strange as that may seem. I would get prizes indicating that I’ve excelled in my schoolwork, but I still didn’t feel talented. My parents saw the talent. My friends saw the talent. I didn’t see any talent. In my mind, I was just a person who had access to the right resources and a little bit of self-discipline. Anybody could do it I told myself.
After finishing high school came a great moment of nothingness. I wondered how I would impact the world in any way because I had no talent in me at all. I remember spending nights looking at the very beautiful stars wondering what I would do in life. That period of nothingness lasted a very long time.
The curtains. Just like curtains being drawn and letting light in, the moment of nothingness eventually came to an end. I rediscovered myself. That young version of myself came back to life. I discovered that I am indeed talented. I got the confidence to believe in it, and I now make use of my talent. My talent is writing. This could be blogging, ghostwriting, or anything that has to do with playing around with words. I actively use this talent blogging here, ghostwriting for a few writing organizations and writing [short] books.
I have discovered what stopped me from realizing that I was talented. It was fear. Zimbabweans are peace-loving, beautiful citizens with a really toxic mindset. They do not believe in themselves. They do not believe in their peers. If you are an artist – a software developer, a writer, a movie producer, or anything, you will find it very hard to get your brethren to buy your products or support you. All they do is they criticize. When one makes a mistake they laugh terribly at you. No encouragement here. That is what had blinded me from seeing that I was talented. In high school I was constantly given “reminders” that I was average just like everybody else and when for the first time in high school I failed to get a prize, I believed it. The previous achievements felt like nothing. I was lucky. No talent there. It took years – almost half a decade to fully believe in myself again.
I am talented. You are talented. We are all talented. Discover your talents. Believe yourself. Use your talents. Find a tribe of people who believe in you. Yes that's right. There is a group of people out there waiting to support you RIGHT now. What is hard is finding that group of people.
I did it, and so can you.
For more information on how you can discover your talents, have a look at this article in which I give a list of people who give you good food for the mind. They will help make it easy for you to identify your talents.
PS* I’m not just talented in writing, I have other talents too! I just decided to use the most relevant one to this blog.