Beyond Just Talent

Beyond Just Talent

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791), is considered by many as the greatest composer of all time (though there are still debates going on as to whether he really is). At the age of 5, he had started composing and playing before European royalty. A genius of classical music, Mozart by far had the talent any musician in any generation would want to have. 

There are so many talented individuals around;  sometimes while walking down the streets, I see kids with miniature trucks and excavators they had built themselves with people gathered around them cheering and supporting them in the little way they can. A lot of things could be seen from the street view point. I’ve seen very talented footballers, musicians, craftsmen, welders, etc, all not getting what many perceive to be the required recognition and sometimes we just can’t say why. There are great scholars and academics not getting the publicity or attention many people think they really need or not actually living up to expectations. 

It happens all the time so then what can we do?  First, it is important to state that different people want different things in life, and the definitions of success might also depend on the one who is defining it. So what one person considers as success might not mean a thing to another. But isn’t our talents supposed to do us some good? Otherwise what need is there for one to have a talent? I think so.

And back to Mozart, despite his musical ingenuity, he still struggled financially for most of his life as this extract from the billboards put it:

“Yet Mozart earned a reputation for money-grubbing, and evidence abounds that he squandered much of his cash. Among the items on display at the Musikverein are handwritten letters in which Mozart begged his patrons, publishers and acquaintances for huge sums to settle his debts. . . No one disputes that Mozart’s wealth was long gone by the time he lay on his deathbed. Researchers at Salzburg’s International Mozarteum Foundation say records of Mozart’s estate indicate that his widow barely had enough cash to bury him, and that he owed thousands, including debts to his tailor, cobbler and pharmacist.”

This is not in anyway trying to equate success with the acquisition of things, as I personally don’t even believe in that. Many people play music to entertain and make other people happy and this they consider to be the most important criteria for evaluating their success.

From experience (mostly those of others) then I can say that for one to benefit the most from his talent, he also has to have the following qualities: Self discipline and Hard work.

The consistency and dominance of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for over a decade is a clear indication of the relevance of these two qualities. Many footballers whose names I wouldn’t like to mention failed to capitalize on their talents making them fall short of the expectations placed on them as a result of the talent they had but never truly maximized.

Other than the above, for any talent to benefit an individual in the way the individual wants it to, the following should be considered :

  • What Does the Individual Want  from the Talent?
  • What is the Relevance in my immediate Location?
  • Will it be Appreciated in this Time and Age?

What an individual wants from his talent must be clearly defined. This helps to determine how the person in question goes about utilizing his talents. Many people learn to play a musical instrument just to have a good time and entertain friends and family, many scientists go into science purely for the satisfaction of contributing something relevant to the service of humanity, many teachers teach not because it is going to make them wealthy but because of the passion they have for the profession or young people. What do you want? 

The relevance of one’s talent in a particular location is so crucial that it will be foolhardy not to consider it. What need is there for an astronaut in a community that needs a polio vaccine? What need is there for a Robotics Engineer in a village without power supply?  Moving to a location of relevance may be desirable.

The book The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald was not successful until many years after the death of the writer. I don’t know if there is anything he could have done about it,  but that gives us a reason to look at the age we live in. Are we in the age of posting letters or in the age of electronic instant messaging? Is Nigeria currently prepared for 5G  or 5G experts have to wait till a future date?

I don’t know how this article helps anyone, but you just have to see if it can. As you consider, I wish you all the best.

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