Monday, August 16, 2010

Developing Talents

My cousin, a clergyman, told me more than a decade ago, if God gives us a talent, we should develop it. I'm not sure what his exact words were, but I do remember taking what he said to mean we have a RESPONSIBILITY to develop our talents.

For me, this moment of clarity catapulted me into the writing life whole heartedly. Up to that point, I'd dabbled in writing rather than having dedicated myself to it. From that moment on, I've been writing full time, working very hard.

Yet with all the time I've devoted to learning, studying, writing, and all the other things which make up a writer's life, I wonder if I will ever develop my talent as fully as I want to. Having won multiple awards for my work doesn't mean I've reached a point where I'm satisfied with my accomplishments. There is always another goal which needs to be met, improvements to be made, another milestone to reach.

I believe each of us is given talents. Those gifts make us capable of becoming great in our own ways if we work hard enough to develop our capabilities.

Take the athlete, for example. God gives a gymnast talent, but, no matter how naturally gifted she is, she will never become a part of an Olympic team unless she dedicates her life to developing her special abilities.

I love to watch NFL football. Witnessing a perfectly executed passing play delights me because I know that, in order to achieve such perfection, those men have worked years and years to develop their talents.

A perfect play, whether it is in sports, the medical field, business, the arts or whatever, NEVER just happens. It is always the result of years of hard work and God-given talent.

It is our duty to discover our talents and develop them to the best of our abilities. We as a people benefit every time one of us succeeds at becoming the best we can be in our profession whether we are doctors, engineers, homemakers, artists, factory workers, construction workers or teachers. The world needs us all, and no one of us is any less necessary than another.


Fran Shaff, Award-Winning Author

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