Talent is a concept that we hear a lot about in our lives. Talent is also an area that can be a sore spot for people as they beat themselves up over a perceived lack of it. For all the talk of talent, there have been some interesting studies on the subject and some good books that have come out recently on whether or not having talent is a myth.
Last year I saw an interview on Charlie Rose with Geoff Colvin, Senior Editor at Large for Fortune magazine, who wrote a book titled, Talent is Overrated. In the interview and the book, Mr. Colvin talks about the idea that we have of talent and how this concept of talent has never been proven despite all of the research that have on genes and in other areas. In fact he goes on to discuss how this idea has been proven to be untrue. In the interview, he goes on to discuss famous people who have achieved at high levels and how it took them a certain amount of time to reach the stage of their careers where they started making a significant difference in their chosen industry.
The myth of talent that currently exists hamper our own personal development. When we don’t excel at something that is obvious to us, we discount ourselves by saying that we don’t have any talent to offer the world. It’s hard for us to see the forest from the trees regarding our abilities. As individuals, we get hung up on talent rather than discovering and expressing our Soul Purpose. The myth of talent is so powerful that it overpowers our road to discovery of Soul Purpose.
In America, talent is the easy road. Talent is sexy and glamorous. Self discovery, on the other hand, is hard. Self discovery takes effort on our part to do. Self discovery is that new agey friend who we like but that we also think is crazy sometimes. The myth of talent has us believe that talent allows us to just do things effortlessly without any work at all because we are just “born with it”. This myth has hurt our ability to value ourselves and our gifts properly as well as kept us from working to achieve at the highest level possible.
What is your experience with talent? How many people have you come accross that swear they have no unique talents and gifts? If you are like me, you have run accross several people like this. The exciting thing is that everyone has a Soul Purpose and everyone has abilities that can be used to create value in the world regardless if they believe that they do. It comes down to getting past old notions that we perceive as truth. This is the case with regards to talent and why the myth hurts us today. It’s time to stop selling ourselves short and be the kind of people that we want to be.