I was lying on my couch chilling at home (as you do being a student) while watching an old-school episode of Charmed and I got to thinking about talents. TV shows provide a form of escapism for us from our daily routines that have ignited the interest of our generation. Anyone and everyone watches at least one TV show that they have fangirl moments over that non-fans just do not get. Reality is overrated, so someone else’s more exciting reality can be a fun alternative.
Be it the gore fanatic Walking Dead followers, the onscreen sex indulgent Game of Thrones maniacs, the classy witches and wizards of Harry Potter, the malnourished Hunger Games experts, the sparkling bloodsucker-loving Twilighters, or any other fans of a show worth binge-watching for the slob Olympics (admit it, we’ve all been there). In most of these TV shows or film franchises the hero or heroine is gifted with a natural talent. Sure, the protagonists have to nurture and develop the talent because otherwise they’ll lose control, lose the powers, or never fulfil their full potential. Whatever the obstacle, the heroes have a starting talent that they then develop. And don’t get me wrong, that’s all fine and dandy, but what about us earthly suckers who were not born into a badass fictitious world of magic or superhero strength? We have to fend for ourselves in this big bad world of ours and having a natural talent – as badly as God may have slaved over man and woman – is not always a given.
The heroes that we aspire to be are launched onto our screens as diamonds in the rough. Their jewels may be tarnished, but nothing that a bit of spick and span can’t fix. Hurtling back from the starry world of dreams on a meter towards earth and crashing describes the actual journey for most of us. Natural talents are hard to come by and are, sadly, not always there. You may discover a passion for something – that one thing that makes you leap out of bed in the morning instead of sluggishly crawling out like a 90-year-old hag – but passion does not necessarily equal talent.
Don’t think that I’m hating because I’m not. Talent is beautiful, talent must be perfected, so it’s not like talented people are slackers, not at all. It’s just not everyone comes from the blessed gene pool, but that’s not to say that we all shouldn’t try and fight. Fight for that job, fight for success, fight for every opportunity, pursue your passion.
Talents are wonderful, but even without them there are certain qualities that require zero talent and are always valued. Like being on time, having a good work ethic, putting in the effort, having positive body language, being energetic, being passionate, having a positive attitude, being prepared, doing that extra little thing that makes you stand out. It’s been drilled into our heads since our high school days and it may sound extremely cliché, but it’s all about those transferrable skills.
A vice of mine, for instance, is punctuality. I am always late, that’s just the way it is, it’s like it has been programmed into my DNA. If my passion calls, however, if I know deep down that I truly want something, then it’s time to ditch the denial and work on myself. Those self-help books that have populated the shelves of bookstores for years just seem to sit there and get dusty, I have honestly never seen anyone read one.
So don’t be a hardback dusty unopened book, be your own motivation. If I’m working on my punctuality, work on your whatever. No one knows your weak points better than you. Then one day, you not being talented in something won’t matter because you put in the hard work and forced the desired quality to be there.
People may call it talent then, but you’ll know how hard you had to work to get there.