How to get the most out of whatcha got
I’m going to come right out and admit it, I love American Idol. There’s something about watching people go for their dreams that makes me so happy, I cry pretty much every episode. A strange phenomenon happens every season that I watch it– I start to fantasize about being an amazing and talented singer.
I have a very supportive husband who pretty much thinks I could do anything I set my mind to, but when I bring up this vocal fantasy of mine, he tries to gently guide me toward a more achievable goal….and then he laughs.
I grew up in a very musical household. My father is a semi-professional musician with endless talent, my brother received the majority of that genetic magic, and my sisters definitely got the rest, by the time I was born, I guess the ability to hold a tune had just…run out.
I’ve taken singing lessons and had hours and hours of coaching and I’ve gotten better, but not good.
It doesn’t stop me from singing to Katy Perry’s Roar or joining in our family sing-alongs, but the fact is: I’d be one of those people on American Idol that would make you cringe.
If I obsessed and spent all of my time working at getting to be a fantastic singer, I could probably get decent. I may even get good. But I’d never be Beyonce.
People that are incredible singers, or incredible athletes, or incredible accountants are almost always born with genetic attributes that lend themselves to those talents – and then those people work hard to polish and shine their talent so they become amazing.
Nassim Taleb wrote about the swimmers body illusion, which illustrates how we believe that if we choose swimming as our exercise of choice we will end up with beautiful bodies like swimmers, when the fact is that the stature of professional swimmers was a factor for selection, not a result.
We think, if I do what you do I’ll end up like you, but there is a break in logic in that thinking. Instead we should consider the formula that created their success and apply it to our own predisposed talents.
For instance, Beyonce was born with the ability to sing, but she’s also worked hard to refine and perfect that skill, while cultivating and learning adjunct talents that have turned her into a global super-star. I couldn’t refine and perfect my ability to sing and become anything more than a second rate lounge singer.
However, I can apply the formula to my own innate talents: working hard to refine and perfect them while cultivating and learning adjunct skills that will help me be incredibly successful in my own way.
Stop comparing your weaknesses to other people’s talents; it’s a recipe for mediocrity. Instead polish your shine to excellence. – Tweet it
Notice things that come naturally to you and then use your energy to become a super-star in those areas.
Let’s do this. Right now, write down ten things that you are good at. In the next week focus on these ten things: find ways to deepen your knowledge about them, practice them to increase your abilities, and express them in the world fully.
I’d love to hear what your talents are! Don’t be shy. Come on down to the comments and share them with us.
Embrace your talents with a big bear hug and love ‘em up – they’re what make you awesome and totally unique.