All of us can agree when we see someone who has talent. In our rush to tell stories that help us make sense of the world, we often say they were born with talent. Others who believe in letting a marketplace decide who wins and loses will tell you that you need both talent and effort to breakthrough and succeed. And then there is the gifted of gifted, the 0.1% or less of the population that simply amazes us. The star athlete or the number one singer year after year.
But what about us? Never fortunate enough to easily breakthrough or stand out. That jumps in to the world out of high school or college and learns how to survive, raise families, and contribute meaningfully to our community.
If we take a close look, all of us can improve our talent. It never happens in a day nor is the payoff immediate. Talent can be improved through acquiring more knowledge as well as choosing to be exposed to more diverse thought and levels of experience far different than our contained, familiar daily routines.
Why didn’t I mention practice? The talent I am speaking of is not being able to play the piano better, or hit a baseball better, or mesmerize people by the way you dance salsa, but rather the talent needed to make good decisions. The talent needed to see more options and better approaches to daily issues and problems.
We can improve our talent when we improve our mind. When we can see and understand more options before deciding. Where becoming aware of the grey areas around a situation (through knowledge, or learning of other experiences or hearing conversations that provide a diversity of thought that challenges what we believe) all give us the context we need to possibly go slower before deciding that should result in a better outcome.
There rarely are right or wrong choices in life. There are only better and less effective ones. That is why when you commit to improving your talent through continued education and seeking out diversity of thought you will never see the payoff until much later as you evaluate the more recent decisions you have made in your life. Always looking for a trend in the outcome of your recent decisions that is bringing you closer to the long-term goals you want to achieve.