In middle school a kid walked across the entire gym on his hands. I was super impressed. And jealous.
I never thought I was talented. And if I did have something of talent I was probably too afraid to get up in front of people and show it.
What is talent?
Google says: natural aptitude or skill
Fast-forward. One day I thought, “I wonder if I can walk on my hands.”
10 things that make talent happen (beyond repetition, trying and preparation)
1. Without Push Or Drive There Is No Repetition
Repetition helps you get better. It is easy to understand. But getting yourself to do the repetition is difficult sometimes. You have to have push or drive. Push can be extrnal. Someone might actually be pushing you. And I don’t like to get pushed around. So I have to have drive. Hunger is a drive. It drives you to do something you might otherwise not do. Think about a time when you were really focused in on something, say video games. Have you ever not eaten because you just forgot to? Your brain was homed in on something else.
This happens to me sometimes. I don’t even have hunger because my mind tunes out other things that are going on. But it is good to feed the hunger. To have that drive moves you to do something.
Exercise is all repetition.
I have a drive to feel better. To look better. To be strong. To sleep better.
So I push myself. But gently.
2. Without Facing Fears There Is No Trying
“Do or do not, there is no try.” – Yoda
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” – Yoda
Trying is doing without understanding and knowing it might fail. Probably will fail. Absolutely will fail.
Like when I try to cook dinner. Sometimes.
But sometimes I don’t want to try because I am afraid of failing. Or ruining dinner to be more exact. I don’t want to waste the ingredients. I don’t want to not eat. I don’t want Sarah to think of me as a failure or be disappointed.
Instead I have to put on my chef boy pants and get in there. I face my fears by determining that they are usually unwarranted. I should be afraid of other things that I am not. Like crashing while texting and driving. Which I should stop and have been more proactively against in my own life.
Fearing failure in cooking is dumb. Why? Because it is almost guaranteed to happen. Maybe not ever meal.
But some dish will flop.
3. Without Organization There Is No Preparation (Thoughts, Materials, Etc.)
I love to be organized because I loved to be prepared. Plus clean and orderly things are pleasant to me. It gives me a sense of peace. Not uncommon but weird to me nonetheless.
To truly be prepared I think it is important to be well organized. If you read any military history you will notice that there is a ton of organization involved in actually carrying out operations. It is necessary to have trained humans, proper materials, orders and direction and all of this to coalesce at some finite point in time and place.
Which never goes off without a hitch.
There is a story here about trains and Theodore Roosevelt. Look into it.
Organization goes beyond schedules, paperwork, items in a row. It includes thoughts and feelings and emotions.
I think always how I can get it together better.
4. Without Motivation There Is No Repetition
Earlier I touched on drive and push. I think of those as the force to keep going.
Motivation I think of as the WHY.
I need a bigger picture to push or feel drive. I need to know that the lunges and squats are going to help me have a healthier life. I want to live to be one hundred and eleven, at least. Without the why I don’t want to exercise. I was going to not even do it yesterday. And the day before. But I did work out both days. Maybe not as hard or intense but I did something.
Why? It helps me sleep. Which helps me think. Which makes me happier, healthier, and maybe even wealthier.
5. Without Risk There Is No Trying
Once the fear is faced and put in its place. Then there is the risk. That is why I was afraid in the first place. There is a risk I would waste all my food. There is a risk that the food tastes bad. There is a risk that I disappoint.
But without the risk it wouldn’t be a try. If it was a slam dunk (I’ve always wanted to be able to do that) then I wouldn’t need to even try, to practice, to repeat. It would be old hat. It would move from thinking I could to knowing I could.
Knowing I can builds confidence. And then I feel happy which replaces the fear.
6. Without Understanding And Clarity There Is No Preparation
Organization is good for preparation. But the best made plans are worthless if I don’t understand them.
Once I had a revelation of sorts and wrote down something to the effect of this:
At the time I was amazed at the thought. Now it seems like some cabalistic code. I don’t know what it means. The clarity was lost in my enthusiasm and excitement. To be prepared the know how is necessary.
Repetition is useless if you are doing it wrong.
7. Without Stubbornness There Is No Repetition
I think of stubbornness when I think of repetition. Tenacity. Block out distractions.
“You can’t do it.” “No one cares.” “No one likes you.” “It doesn’t matter.”
I stubbornly ignore all these thoughts. I will prevail.
8. Without Awe There Is No Trying
I stood in awe overlooking the ravine. I was afraid to go first. So I had my newlywed bride go before me. She must have thought, “Gee I married a wimp.” Sarah had repelled before. I had bungee jumped once. That was easy you just ignore your fear and jump. This you had to ease over the edge.
I didn’t want to. Then she went and I wanted to be with her so I went second.
I faced my fear. I took a risk. And then I was in AWE.
It was amazing!
I have wanted to do it again ever since.
9. Without Purpose There Is No Preparation
Organization: check. Understanding and clarity: check. Purpose: ummmm.
I think of motivation as the internal. And purpose as the external. As the bigger cause.
Joining a cause gives purpose to life. People are quicker to do something if it is for a cause. I guess it is because they can relate to it and have context for their actions. Plus who doesn’t want to be part of something bigger and outside of themselves?
10. Without Meaning There Is No Talent
I want my talents to mean something. I want my efforts to be noticed. I want to make a difference. Without any of that it might as well have not happened at all. All that hard work has no payoff.
Nobody is impressed. Nobody is jealous.