Archives For talents

The Prodigy Scapegoat

September 7, 2009

“If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all” Michelangelo

When I read a quote that inspires me to press on or challenges my thinking, I write it down. (If you follow me on

Michelangelo's David

Michelangelo’s David

Twitter you’ve seen a lot of quotes from my collection.) I’ve pondered the above quote regularly because it perfectly summarizes a prevailing mentality I see in people.  We are quick to discount the hard work of high achievers and label them as ‘natural talents’, ‘prodigies’ or ‘genius’.  It’s almost as if we give ourselves an excuse to not achieve greatness because we weren’t born with the particular talent. Don’t fall into that poor thinking habit – the prodigy scapegoat!

Yes, there are prodigies in the world. I do remember the very young Tiger Woods on the Mike Douglas Show. He is a prodigy, but I doubt he would have achieved greatness in golf if he didn’t have determination and a strong work ethic.

If you are admiring someone, get into the habit of considering their hard work and determination; then understand this is what you need for the path you are on. Don’t settle for less than great for yourself or your team.

“All the genius I have is solely the fruit of labor” Alexander Hamilton

A River Went Out of Eden

July 22, 2009

Toplia river _63_For the first time, I’ve been watching the Tour de France. I’ve heard of Lance Armstrong but never really paid attention to the sport of cycling. I do know he’s won 7 Tour de France races, overcame cancer at some point, he retired and is now back competing. I don’t know the sport, but I have to ask why?  Why does  Brett Favre or Lance Armstrong come back to a sport after already achieved many of its highest honors, recognition and are both up there in age?

I can only begin to understand through the context of my life. When I saw myself only as an engineer, I pushed myself to be the best engineer despite the lack of gratification. I went back to school got another degree. There were certain parts I liked. This is why the life of Leonardo da Vinci so enthralled me, I didn’t have to limit my life to the confines of how I made a living.  I also came upon this scripture:

Genesis 2:10 NKJV

Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads.

A garden is a place where fruit is cultivated. Cultivation means there is work being done. I’ve applied this scripture to my overall life: Jesus is my one source.  I allow him into the garden of my life; I cultivate the gifts & talents, then out of my life flows the manifestation of Christ in different areas. Financially, I have a job which provides a source of income. I have the responsibility to cultivate that income to produce many revenue streams: moving upwards in current job, savings, writing, and speaking.

So as I observe Lance Armstrong or Brett Favre from way up high in the grandstands, I see the river flowing into their lives but I only see one river flowing out of their lives. They both receive gratification from their sport. But do they not know they may have more than one talent or gift that could be used to bring them much gratification and recognition? I don’t think we were designed to be on trick human beings. I do not intent to pass judgment on either of these men, but only speculate as to why not move on?

What could you be doing to discover and then cultivate your gifts and talents?