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The Measure of Talent


Hi everyone, it’s Andrea. This is my first post in the Youer than You blog, and I can’t wait to continue this journey with all of you in this awesome community!

One of the many problems I face every single day is measuring my self-worth. I guess it’s a common issue when you’re surrounded by amazing people 24/7: from dancers to athletes to artists to musicians. It tends to get intimidating, but lately, to me, it’s gotten to the point that a few times a week I sit and sulk about me not being as talented as them.

But now that I’m thinking about it again, I realize that every one of us has a talent. If a random person went up to me right now and said, “You’re talented!” (which people should be saying on a daily basis to make the world a better place) I would probably look at that person and hesitate.

I don’t have talent. I’m not a singer. I can’t dance or draw or play the guitar or do anything cool.
Now that has been my problem for years. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to finally realize something, but I did. And it is this: there are thousands, even millions, of different kinds of talents. I just have the same thought ingrained in my head when I’m asked to define what talent is:

“Oh, you know, talent is being skilled at something. Like music, dance, art, photography, or sports, of course.”

Here’s the thing: I’m proud for the people who excel in performing arts in that sense. I’m awed when they perform a piece or a solo or present artwork in front of me. But still, back then, I couldn’t help thinking: what happens to the other, lesser-known talents – the ones that people rarely recognize? Is that a talent, too?

Last-year me would definitely answer ‘no’, because the only talent I ever thought existed were the ones people around me had. This-year me is giving it a yes.

Here’s a yes to all of the talents that people glaze over and never really try to understand. Here’s a yes to those who work behind the screens or curtains in plays and videos. Here’s a yes to not only those who write books, but those who edit them. Here’s a yes to those who are into business, leading, mechanics, eclectic arts, collecting, and sports that a certain school doesn’t have a team of. Here’s a yes to those who sit and clap for their talented friends and classmates and struggle with the feeling that they will never compare to them.

You never have to compare. I hope I never will again, because trust me when I repeat this again: you are talented. Maybe you don’t know it yet, or maybe you’re still dabbling with a few crafts. Time will come, though, and you will know. 

There is no measuring scale for talent. All the talents we have weigh and stand the same: it’s just a matter of the way that we develop it.

In the end, it’s about the passion we put into our talents, the drive that pushes us forward to excel, to excel, to excel. Because when I die, I’d rather be remembered as a person who was passionate and lived and breathed writing, than a person who garnered a lot of awards at one skill but never really loved it anyway. 

So remind yourself of that when you’re feeling down. You are talented, and your talent will never be less than someone else’s.

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