Some people instinctively know how to cook. Some can sing like no other. Some people can ride a horse perfectly after never having met one before.
Okay, I’m a pretty fab home cook and I can ride but I had to watch and study and learn. I had to imitate others to be able to do these things myself. Therefore I am not naturally talented. I have to keep learning, trying, experimenting and refining to be good at something. Hey, don’t we all? I think it was my Dad that said,
“You might be the world’ s best violinist or archer but if you never pick up a violin or a bow how will you know?”
I’m not sure where he heard that but he’s right.
Everyone in the world has a talent but if you never get the chance to try that one thing, you’ll never know if you could have been the best. Lack of patience can hold you back. Lack of imagination can hold you back. Parents, family, peers, colleagues, friends, fear of the unknown, money, culture and indifference can hold you back.
I love painting. I feel I’m not naturally talented but I can imitate very successfully. With patience, practise and perseverance I think you can be good at anything. So I’m a pretty good painter. Just because I really really want to be. If you look at my Dad’ s saying the other way round, there’s no point being the best painter in the world if you don’t actually paint.
The thing is, like I said before, if I don’t keep doing what I love doing (painting) then I lose the muscle memory, the colour palettes, the shaping, all the little tricks that made that one single painting good all those weeks ago. I have to practise and build it all back up again. I cannot simply create masterpieces. I am not a fluke; a rare talent that just is.
I’m not alone. Most of the world is like me. We all have to practise and keep going. For most real people it’s discipline that makes us great, not always talent.
I will keep going with the painting. Eventually I will get something fabulous on paper that makes other people say “Wow, aren’t you talented.” and I will say “Yes, why yes I am.”